October 7th, 2012
Tokyo Swallows 0
Streak: Lost 2. Last 5: LWWLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The Tokyo Swallows finished the 2012 regular season with a rather anticlimactic and dissatisfying loss to the fourth place Carp. And while it certainly can be argued that it was a meaningless game due to the fact that Tokyo punched its ticket to the playoffs quite a while ago, the value of a little extra momentum heading into next weekend can hardly be overstated.
Hiroshima 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 0
Tokyo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
W: Yokoyama (2-0; 0.42 ERA) L: Masubuchi (2-7; 5.38 ERA) S: Mickolio (3-5; 21 S; 2.79 ERA)
It was also the first time since July 8th that the Carp were able to keep the birds off the board for an entire nine innings.
Tokyo skipper, Junji Ogawa, made no less than 12 substitutions in this dull contest which served more as a goodbye for the Jingu faithful than it was a sporting event. But here’s how the lineup looked before things got under way.
|Ueda (CF)||1||Abe (LF)|
|Tanaka (2B)||2||Kikuchi (2B)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||3||Soyogi (SS)|
|Balentien (RF)||4||Eldred (1B)|
|Kawabata (SS)||5||Maru (CF)|
|Miyamoto (3B)||6||Dohbayashi (3B)|
|Takeuchi (LF)||7||Hirose (RF)|
|Aikawa (C)||8||Kura (C)|
|Shichijo (P)||9||Nomura (P)|
Barring some rock-solid road dome form (read: rock-solid cojones grown by the team’s starting rotation), Sunday evening was potentially the last time that we’ll see veteran outfielders Fukuchi and Miyade play in front of a home crowd.
Other than that, the Swallows didn’t give the Jingu faithful much to write home about. Miyamoto was the only bird that managed a multi-hit game against Hiroshima rookie, Nomura, who was vying for his 10th win of the season.
Tonight’s game also served as a final tuneup for pitchers who might see some action in the Climax Series which starts on Saturday October 13th.
After pitching four innings of one hit, three walk, one HBP baseball, Tokyo starter Shichijo gave way to Tateyama who came out of the bullpen for the first time this season. Shohei walked a batter with two outs, but he ultimately got out of the inning on 13 pitches.
Hidaka, Matsuoka, and Yamamoto all got an inning in as well before Masubuchi let the game get away while apparently getting injured in the process.
Akagawa ended up recording the final two outs in the top of the ninth after ‘Buchi was pulled.
But the damage was already done.
And thus ended a weekend when the Swallows were largely kept at bay by a mostly toothless Carp side.
But thankfully we have playoff baseball to look forward to.
And hopefully we’ll have a couple more posts for you to read through in the lead-up to Tokyo’s sweatily anticipated return to postseason hostilities at Nagoya Dome.
Stay tuned for more info on Tsubamegun.
Climax Series — First Stage
vs Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome (best of three series)
Saturday — 2PM
Sunday — 2PM
Monday — 6PM (if teams split the first two games)
The Swallows finished the regular season with a 68-65-11 record.
Tokyo was one run shy of joining Yomiuri as the only clubs in the Central League to have scored at least 500 runs this season. Tokyo finished with 499; Yomiuri finished with 534.
Yomiuri was the only team in either league to allow less than 400 runs this year (354). Second place in Japan went to Chunichi. The Swallows allowed 514 runs which puts them fifth in the Central (only Yokohama was worse) and 9th in Japan.
Balentien won the Central League home run race this season (twice running) with 31 round-trippers. Yomiuri’s Abe was second with 27. What’s peculiar is that Balentien won the title without having enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title (422 from 106 games). Abe, on the other hand, managed 556 plate appearances from 138 games this season.