August 31st, 2012
Tokyo Swallows 4
Streak: Drew 2 Last 5: WLWDD
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Poor pitching was seen at the start and end of tonight’s game. Both starters had a rough first few innings and then closers for both teams slipped up in the ninth.
| BS: Iwase*
*(not official but he lost the lead in the bottom of the ninth)
Tonight saw both teams don the throw-back uni’s once again. In addition to Coco still recovering from an injury, it was learnt by this reporter that both Ueda and Hatakeyama will be sidelined with injury for the forseeable future. This meant a slightly unusual line-up was put out on the field for the Birds.
|Hiyane (RF)||1||Ohshima (CF)|
|Yamada (SS)||2||Araki (2B)|
|Tanaka (2B)||3||Wada (LF)|
|Milledge (LF)||4||Blanco (1B)|
|Kawabata (1B)||5||Ibata (SS)|
|Miyamoto (3B)||6||Tanishige (C)|
|Noguchi (CF)||7||Morino (3B)|
|Nakamura (C)||8||Matsui (RF)|
|Akagawa (P)||9||Ohno (P)|
As is the norm with an Akagawa start, the opposition struck early, albeit tonight wasn’t entirely his fault. The Chubu newspaper smurfs scored two quick runs in the first to take an early lead. Back-to-back singles lead off the inning for the smurfs. As Wada was striking out, the smurf runners attempted a double-steal on the basepaths. A poor throw from Nakamura to third meant Ohshima would score the first run of the evening. 1 – 0 Chunichi
Blanco would then knock Araki in with a single to center. 2 – 0 Chunichi
In the home half of the first, the Birds went down in order.
Akagawa appeared to be a bit more settled for the second inning. He got the first two batters out easily. But, he then gave up consecutive singles to Matsui and Ohno (the opposition pitcher)! However, he was able to induce a groundout to end the inning.
Milledge lead off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a walk (the 1st of four free passes). He would move to third when Kawabata hit a single to center. Miyamoto would follow that with a single to left, easily scoring Milledge. 2 – 1 Chunichi
Noguchi would pop out for the first out of the inning. Nakamura then hit a grounder to second. Kawabata trying to tie the game, was caught and tagged out for the second out of the inning. Still, there were runners on 1st and 2nd. Akagawa then hit a grounder to Araki who proceeded to throw it away. Akagawa would be safe at first on the error and Miyamoto would score on the play. 2 – 2
Hiyane would hit a liner to left and knock in the 3rd run for the Birds. 3 – 2 Tokyo
Yamada would be the third out of the inning.
We move now, at a snail pace, to the top of the 4th. Morino, the ever-present Swallows thorn, lead off with a single. Matsui would hit a ball to left that would be mishandled by Milledge. Milledge mistakenly thought he was closer to the wall then he really was and was unable to make the catch. Morino would easily score to tie the game. 3 – 3
The next few innings were rather uneventful. Still they were moving VERY slow. So, by the time the ninth inning started, it was nearly 9:25. This meant Barnette was brought in to conserve the tie. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do that. After getting the first batter out, he gave up a solo shot to Araki. 4 – 3 Chunichi
Looking rather upset with himself, Tony settled down and struck out the next two batters. As I have reiterated on countless occasions, this is a team game. Barnette’s teammates pulled one out for him tonight. They were facing a tough pitcher in Sosa. However, the Birds have had fairly good success against him, and tonight was no different. Hiyane lead off the inning with a single to right. He was bunted over to second by Morioka. Tanaka then grounded out to short, but Hiyane moved to third on the play. Milledge was then intentionally walked and was replaced on the bases by Miwa. (WHY? Yes Lastings does have some power, but he was 0-1 with 3 walks at this point. He was not swinging the bat well tonight. Yet another MORONIC decision by the smurfs. How the hell are they in second place?) So, that means our utility man, Kawabata was up. First, though, the smurfs decided to bring in Iwase. MISTAKE #2 of the inning!! Kawabata smacked the second pitch he saw to right and, once again, the game is all tied up. 4 – 4
Miyamoto was the next batter. Unfortunately, there were no heroics from him. He grounded out to third to end the game. 4 – 4 FINAL
- Kawabata started at first. Rumor amongst the kiddies is that he may try the outfield next week!
- Tonight’s game lasted 3 hours and 41 minutes
- 14, 534 were in attendance
- Swallows now lead the season series 11-7-3
- Tateyama and Iwata are the scheduled started for tomorrow’s 6 pm game