August 30th, 2012
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Drawn 1 Last 5: WWLWD
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The Swallows couldn’t quite do enough with the bat to pull out a win, as they played to a ten inning tie with the Carp and remain 2.5 games back from a playoff spot.
|1||Amaya (CF)||1||Milledge (LF)|
|2||Kikuchi (2B)||2||Morioka (SS)|
|3||Soyogi (SS)||3||Tanaka (2B)|
|4||Matsuyama (1B)||4||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Dobayashi (3B)||5||Kawabata (3B)|
|6||Maru (RF)||6||Takeuchi (RF)|
|7||Akamatsu (CF)||7||Matsui (RF)|
|8||Ishihara (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Ohtake (P)||9||Roman (P)|
Starter Roman should have had himself a 1st inning lead to work with, as a Milledge single, sac bunt, passed ball and dead ball combo put men on the corners with one out for Hatake. But Hiroshima starter Ohtake finally pulled himself together and got the chubster to ground into an inning ending double play.
Roman then held the Carp bats hitless until the top of the 4th. That inning started well, with Milledge making a superb jumping catch at the wall for out number one (and for a sickening minute, looked like he’d injured himself in the process), but a subsequent single and double from Soyogi and Matsuyama respectively put the fish ahead, 1-0 Hiroshima.
And the lead was doubled in the top of the 5th, as an Akamatsu solo homer made it 2-0.
Tokyo finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Matsui singled to lead off the inning, Nakamura then laid down a sac bunt attempt which Ohtake completely fluffed the fielding of, and the Swallows had two men on thanks to the error. Another bunt was put down by Miwa (in for Roman) which moved the men into scoring positions for Milledge. And Lastings hit a deep fly to left, which was good enough to bring home Matsui on the sac fly for 2-1. Morioka then grounded out to second to end the inning.
After that Ohtake pretty much had things under control, allowing solitary hits in the 6th and 8th inning, but the Tokyo bats couldn’t get any momentum going like they had managed to do the night before.
But after pitching 137 pitches through his eight innings of work, Imamura came in to to relieve Ohtake in the bottom of the 9th to try to seal the deal for the Carp, and move them back to 3.5 games ahead in the playoff sweepstakes. Only Matsui didn’t read the script and he led off the inning with a solo homer (his fifth for the year) that just snuck over the fence to the right of the left foul pole and Tokyo were level at 2-2. Imamura then proceeded to issue walks to Milledge and Fujimoto to put two on, but Tanaka tamely hit the first pitch he saw for an easy flyout to centre and that long awaited sayonara run would have to wait.
Cue the 10th inning, and Barnette taking the mound for the Swallows. He allowed two men on from a one-out walk and single, but he then landed a flyout to left/strikeout 1-2 punch which meant that with the game clock now past 3:30, it was a game the Swallows could no longer lose.
And they very nearly managed to win it at the death, as a one-out single for Kawabata, a dead ball for Kawamoto (who was in the process of trying to bunt the runner along) and an intentional walk for the pinch-hitting Miyamoto loaded the bases for Fukuchi, a man who managed two sayonara hits last season. But he only had a ground out to third in him and that was all she wrote. 2-2 Final.
- Roman’s line: 5 IP / 69 P / 4 H / 6 K / 0 BB / 2 ER. His record remains at 7-9 / 3.20.
- Matsui, Hidaka, Yamamoto, Oshimoto held the Carp bats at bay in their Roman/Barnette sandwich.
- Matsui (.287) was the obvious standout with the bat with his 3 for 5 night. Tanaka (.261) and Kawabata (.280) both had two hit evenings.
- Today was manager Ogawa’s 55th birthday. Happy birthday Junji! We know you’re (almost certainly not) a big fan of the site!
- The season series between these two teams remains tied at 8-8.
- Tomorrow will see the second placed Chunichi Dragons come to town for three games after they just took a road series from Yomiuri 2-1. Thankfully they played the Yoshimi card during that series so we will not have to face him this weekend.
- Tomorrow’s starters are slated to be Akagawa vs Ono. See you there.