July 28th, 2012
Chunichi Dragons 4
Streak: Drew 1 Last 5: LDLWD
After scoring 21 runs over the last two nights, the Birds eased off the throttle in today’s day game. Although they only scored 4 runs, Hatakeyama does the business to save the Swallows in Nagoya.
Today was a bit of a strange game to watch. Strange in the fact that this game wasn’t decided by the end of the third inning as were the two previous Swallows games. Two days removed from spotting the Carp a 13 run advantage after 4 innings and a day after jumping out to a 6-1 lead in three innings, the Birds kept this one a bit more normal. That said, the end of this one was far from normal.
|1||Milledge LF||1||Oshima CF
|2||Tanaka 2B||2||Matsui RF|
|3||Kawabata SS||3||Wada LF
|4||Hatakeyama 1B||4||Morino 3B|
|5||Balentien RF||5||Ibata SS|
|6||Miyamoto 3B||6||Tanishige C|
|7||Fukuichi CF||7||Yamasaki 1B|
|8||Nakamura C||8||Yanagida 2B|
|9||Akagawa P||9||Iwata P|
The action started in the second inning. In the top half on the inning, the big bats came to play for the Birds. Boo and Coco hit back to back singles to start things off. Morimoto reached base when his bunt was thrown away by Iwata. So now the bases were loaded and nobody out. Fukuichi then got the first RBI of the game by walking on four straight pitches to “drive in” Boo. 1 – 0 Tokyo
Nakamura then hit into a double play but Coco was able to score and Miyamoto advanced to third. 2 – 0 Tokyo
Unfortunately, Akagawa was up next. He went down swinging to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the inning, Morino continued his personal mission of hitting only doubles against the Swallows. He would come around to score when Ibata hit a single to right. 2 – 1 Tokyo
Tanishige would then move Ibata ahead a base when he sacrificed himself. Yamasaki then hit a single to left to score Ibata from second 2 – 2
Akagawa would then knuckle down. He struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
We move ahead to the fourth when Boo started things off with a home-run to left-center to give the Swallows the lead again. 3 – 2 Tokyo
That lead lasted until the bottom of the six. After inducing a ground out from Ibata, Akagawa was left facing Tanishige. Unfortunately for Swallows fans, Tanishige got the upper hand and knocked a solo home run to left. 3 – 3
After a quiet Swallows 7th, the Kansai newspaper smurfs decided to make some noise with their bats against Yamamoto. Wada was the first out of the inning before Morino reached on a single. He was followed by another single from Ibata. They would each move ahead a base on a wild pitch. Tanishige would then walk to load the bases. Donoue would be the second out of the inning. The Kansai newspaper smurfs would then take the lead when Iwasaki drew a full-count walk. 4 – 3 Chunichi
The threat would end when Tanaka flew out to Milledge in left-center.
We jump head to the top of the ninth. Boo started yet another threat when he lead off the inning with a double to left-center off of the Dominican hurler, Sosa. Boo was replaced on the bases by Noguchi.
And now we enter the irregular phase of the game.
The next batter in the line-up was suppose to be Matsui. However, Ogawa had a different idea. So, he replaced Matsui with Miwa. In a move that I fully appreciate, Miwa bunted Noguchi to third. This was the perfect situation to bunt. Nobody out. A fast runner at SECOND and a reliable bunter at the plate. Morioka was up next. He followed the same sage advice and bunted. This of course was a shock to the Kansai newspaper smurfs. The ball bounced back to the mound but Noguchi was already sliding home when Sosa got a grasp of the ball. He easily threw out Morioka at first, though. 4 – 4
Fukuichi would ground out to second to end the inning.
At this point, the game has gone pass the 3 hours and 30 minute limit. So, that means there will be no extra innings. We are down to the final three outs of the game. Remember this.
Oshimoto came out for his second inning of work. Morino was the first batter he faced. Oshimoto got him to ground out to second for the first out. Ibata was up next. In the official scorebook, he reached base after being hit on the foot. However, it was ball four and he was going to first either way. Tanishige then flew out for the second out of the inning. So, here is what is left:
two outs and a runner on first. The game is tied but because of the 3.5 hour limit, there is only one more out.
So, which power hitter does Morimichi send to the plate? Sosa. Not Sammy Sosa of steroid infamy. No. He sends out Jorge Bolivar Sosa. THE PITCHER.
And of course he struck out to end the game. Even my 6 month old son was left scratching his head on that one. In any event, the Swallows escaped this one with a draw. 4 – 4 FINAL
- Hatakeyama hit his ninth HR of the season, 2nd in two games
- 35045 peeps were in attendance
- With this draw and a Carp loss to the other Tokyo team, the Swallows are now in 3rd place in the CL standings (albeit by the smallest of margins)
- Tomorrow will be the third game of the series with the Swallows needing another win. The game is scheduled to start at 2 pm. Tokyo will send out Tateyama while the Kansai newspaper smurfs will send out Yamauchi.