October 5th, 2012
Hanshin Tigers 0
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WWLWW
|W: Ishikawa (8-11 / 3.60 ERA); L: Iwamoto (2-1 / 0.00); S: Barnette (33 S / 1.82)|
Ishikawa made his case for a Climax Series starting spot in Nagoya with eight good innings as Tokyo won their final game of the year with Hanshin.
|1||Yuhei (CF)||1||Uemoto (2B)|
|2||Tanaka (2B)||2||Yamato (CF)|
|3||Takeuchi (RF)||3||Toritani (SS)|
|4||Hatakeyama (1B)||4||R Arai (3B)|
|5||Kawabata (3B)||5||Kanemoto (LF)|
|6||Fukuchi (LF)||6||Nohara (1B)|
|7||Aikawa (C)||7||Nakatani (RF)|
|8||Morioka (SS)||8||Komiyama (C)|
|9||Ishikawa (P)||9||Iwamoto (P)|
Outside of the 2nd inning when he allowed two singles to lead off the inning, Ishikawa went largely untroubled throughout his eight innings, striking out ten men in the process while allowing no walks over his shift.
Tokyo were facing the youngster Iwamoto, who had allowed no runs in his prior two starts this season (previously six shutout innings against the Swallows on September 27th). And though the Swallows would take the lead in the 3rd, it was a run that wouldn’t be charged to Iwamoto. Morioka walked to start the inning, and was then bunted over by Ishikawa. Yuhei then grounded out to second before Tanaka hit a grounder to Arai at third, he overcooked his throw to first, allowing Morioka to scramble home on the error for 1-0 Tokyo.
The Swallows’ other run came in the 8th against Nomi, as a one-out triple from Kawabata and a pinch-hit single to left from Balentien that just snuck out of the infield made it 2-0.
All that was left was for Barnette to make an appearance to thrill the Hanshin fans once more by giving them a 1-2-3 inning to chew on, made doubly fun by the fact that it marooned Kanemoto in the on-deck circle as Arai the younger struck out to end the game. Arai even tried to stick his foot out on a low inside curve to instigate a dead ball so that Kanemoto would get an at-bat, but he couldn’t even do that right. Chump. 2-0 Tokyo Final.
- Ishikawa’s final line: 8 IP / 110 P / 3 H / 10 K / 0 BB / 0 ER. It was only his second win since July 4th giving him a final record of 8-11 / 3.60 in his 27 starts this season. It ranks as Ishikawa’s worst season since 2007, when he went 4-7 / 4.38 in 26 appearances that year. In fact it was after that year that Ishikawa really became the de facto ace of the team, as he stepped up his game in the absence of Seth Greisinger, who had jumped ship, lured by the coke, hookers and forced shaving offered by neighbours Yomiuri. Let’s hope Masanori can continue his recent improved form in the post-season and indeed next season, and prove that this year was just a blip and not the start of a decline.
- Though Balentien started the game on the bench, PFF failed to land a homer over in the stain dome, meaning Coco is still four ahead with two to play.
- It was LIFETIME TSUBAMEGUN MEMBER Tony Barnette’s 33rd save of a remarkable season. This puts him joint top of the CL (and indeed NPB) save rankings for 2012 with Chunichi’s Iwase . And as Chunichi have now completed their regular season schedule, the main threat to Tony is ultimate-fugly Nishimura, who has 32 saves with two to play for Yomiuri.
- A by-product of Tokyo’s hot finish to the season is that they have ended up winning the season series against Hanshin 12-11-1. In fact the only team the Swallows don’t have a winning record against is Yomiuri (9-11-4), which illustrates in 3D stereoscopic supervision just how damaging that disastrous that Inter-League portion of the year was to our overall season.
- So then, two games left. Both at home against Hiroshima starting Saturday, when the starters will be Roman vs Imai.