July 26th, 2012
Tokyo Swallows 12
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLDL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Tonight was 400 yen beer night at Jingu Stadium, which meant the outfield stands were packed with fair-weather fans. As you can no doubt tell from the crazy boxscore below, there was plenty of time to get drunk in the stands.
|W: Maeda (10-3) L: Muranaka (5-4)|
|1||Soichiro Amaya (CF)||1||Lastings Milledge (LF)|
|2||Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)||2||Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)|
|3||Eishin Soyogi (SS)||3||Shingo Kawabata (SS)|
|4||Takahiro Iwamoto (LF)||4||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Shota Dobayashi (3B)||5||Wladimir Balentien (RF)|
|6||Jun Hirose (RF)||6||Shinya Miyamoto (3B)|
|7||Brad Eldred (1B)||7||Jun Matsui (CF)|
|8||Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Kenta Maeda (P)||9||Kyohei Muranaka (P)|
Things started off with an Amaya hit that ricocheted off Muranaka’s left foot for 2 bases. The trainers took a look at Muranaka’s foot, but the young lefty stayed in the game. When the game resumed Amaya was bunted over to third, and came around to score on a Soyogi single. 1-0 Carp Iwamoto followed with a single to put men on the corners, and Soyogi came around to score on a Dobayashi sac fly. 2-0 Carp Before Swallows’ fans could complain too much Hirose widened the score even further with a homerun. 4-0 Carp
The Carp got an extra run in the third as both Soyogi and Dobayashi got doubles off Muranaka. 5-0 Carp
Then the fun began in the top of the fourth. Eldred and Ishihara start the inning with back-to-back singles to left. Muranaaka gets out number one by striking out Maeda, but quickly finds himself with the bases loaded after giving up a single to Amaya. Kikuchi singles to left to score 1 run. 6-0 Carp Soyogi follows with another single to left to score another run. But this time, Milledge misses the throw home allowing an extra runner to score and allowing everyone to take an extra base. 8-0 Swallows Iwamoto hits another ball to left, but thankfully it’s a soft fly out. Dobayashi draws a walk to load the bases and the Swallows decide to end Muranaka’s night. Fernandes is called in to get the last out of the inning, but instead gives up a grandslam to Hirose. 12-0 Carp But the Carp weren’t quite done. Eldred followed with a single, and Ishihara doubled to score him. 13-0 Carp Fernandes managed to get the final out of the inning, but only after walking Maeda on 4 pitches.
This is where the game essentially ended, and everything that happened afterwards was a sideshow that prolonged the game and just served to encourage greater alcohol consumption. At this point in the game, after three and a half innings, Maeda had pitched 3 perfect innings. Muranaka on the other hand, was tagged with 11 earned runs on 11 hits and a walk. Most pitchers usually need 2 games to give up numbers that bad. Fernandes gave up 2 earned runs on 3 hits and a walk before getting the 1 out he was supposed to get.
The Swallows did subsequently break up Maeda’s perfect game in the bottom of the fourth and slowly strung together some runs. In fact the Swallows outscored the Carp 12-3 in the last 4.5 innings of the game, giving fair weather fans plenty of opportunity to rock out to Tokyo-ondo. But that didn’t change the fact that the Swallows had spotted the Carp 13 MOTHERFUCKIN’ RUNS to start the game. Despite all the scoring the Swallows never were in realistic striking distance on the Carp. (i.e. If you’re still down by 4 runs after scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, are you really still in the game?) Swallows management and fair-weather baseball fans no doubt loved the 4 hour game with plenty of action and cheap beer. Die-hard Swallows fan, who weren’t in the stadium primarily for the booze, were left with another loss and the realization that the Swallows were now officially in fourth place in the CL.
The Swallows now go play the Dragons in the notoriously hard-to-score Nagoya Dome. Roman, who is one bad start away from a possible demotion, will face Kenshin Kawakami who will be making his fourth start of the season since his return to NPB.