August 1st, 2012
Hanshin Tigers 3
Streak: Lost 3 Last 5: WDLLL
The Tigers took an early lead off of Muranaka and held on late for the win.
|W: Kubo (3-4 / 2.94 ERA) L: Muranaka (5-5 / 4.80 ERA)|
The Birds have now lost 3 in a row. There is not much to take away from tonight’s game except the fact that Kawabata has a little pop in his bat and Coco needs to get healthy soon.
|Tanaka (2B)||1||Uemoto (2B)|
|Miwa (RF)||2||Yamato (CF)|
|Kawabata (3B)||3||Toritani (SS)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||4||T.Arai (1B)|
|Milledge (CF)||5||Kanemoto (LF)|
|Matsui (LF)||6||Murton (RF)|
|Morioka (SS)||7||R.Arai (3B)|
|Kawamoto (C)||8||Fuji (C)|
|Muranaka (P)||9||Kubo (P)|
It appears to this humble writer that I am not the only one staying up late watching the Olympics. The Swallows appear to be sluggish and not really playing with that sense of urgency that they need to have right now. Tonight was the third lose in a row and the team really needs a change of pace. Ogawa must have been feeling the same thing as he altered the lineup. Unfortunately, in the end, it had little impact.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 2 run lead in the first. Uemoto started the inning off with a double. He was bunted over to third by the black cat, Yamato. Toritani followed that with a single to right to score Uemoto. 1 – 0 Hanshin
Arai the elder then hit a double that would drive in Toritani. 2 – 0 Hanshin
Kanemoto and Murton would both ground out to end the inning.
The Birds would occasionally make contact in the first few innings but nothing came of it. While they were struggling the Tigers added an additional run on two hits in the bottom of the third.
Arai the elder would hit his second consecutive double of the game. He would advance to third when Kanemoto grounded out to Tanaka. Arai the elder would score when the skinny Ginger, Murton, would loop a single to center. 3 – 0 Hanshin
The Birds would finally get some runs on the board in the top of the 5th. Muranaka was a quick out to start the inning. Tanaka would then reach base on a fielding error by Toritani. Miwa then flew out for the second out of the inning. Kawabata would then show off his power stroke. He would knock a lovely shot into the right field bleachers and in the process reducing the Tigers lead to one. 3 – 2 Hanshin
That would be the final score of the game. However, the Birds did have a chance to possibly tie the game in the top of the ninth. Of course another mistake on the bases and that threat was quickly squashed. After Morioka got on base with two outs, he was replaced by Hiyane at first. Fujimoto came to the plate in place of Kawamoto. He did well to make contact and hit a soft-liner between the shortstop and the third baseman. As Murton carefully fields the ball, Hiyane must have thought he could beat the throw and attempts to get to third. Despite a relatively weak throw by Murton (again being cautious), Hiyane was thrown out at third. Another blunder from the birds. Game over.
- Coco missed his third consecutive game due to a hamstring injury
- Milledge and Hatekeyama both went 0-4 tonight. Not good.
- Muranaka did much better tonight compared to his last start (credited with 11 earned runs in 3 1/3 innings in that one)
- Not too much positive news tonight seeing as the Carp extended their lead by treating the Baystars to an absolute beatdown; 12-0
- The Newspaper teams battled to a 2-2 tie in the Bio dome (for those not aware of my nicknames, Yomiuri & Chunichi are both newspapers in Japan)
- My prediction for the final of this series: Tomorrow will see the Swallows win and salvage some semblence of dignity when Roman wins the battle of foreigner pitchers. He squares off against the Hanshin hurler, Standridge.
- Game time is 6 pm