10/02/12 – Yokohama (Away)

October 2nd, 2012

Tokyo Swallows 6

Yokohama BayStars 2

Streak: Won 2  Last 5: LWLWW

(Yokohama Stadium)

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W: Nakazawa (2-0 / 2.40 ERA); L: Miura (9-8 / 2.83)

A decent shift from Nakazawa and Coco Balentien’s 31st homer of the season were the standouts as Tokyo beat Miura and the Baystars in Yokohama.

 Swallows BayStars
1Fukuchi (LF)1Aranami (CF)
2Tanaka (2B)2Uchimura (2B)
3Balentien (RF)3Tsutsugo (SS)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Nakamura (1B)
5Kawabata (3B)5Gotoh (RF)
6Ihara (CF)6Watanabe (SS)
7Morioka (SS)7Kinjoh (RF)
8Nakamura (C)8Takajoh (C)
9Nakazawa (P)9Miura (P)

As the Swallows trudge through a week of what are essentially warm up games for the upcoming Climax Series, it was Nakazawa who got the nod to start tonight’s game.

Win number two for Nakazawa

And he had himself a lead in the top of the 2nd. Kawabata singled off Miura to start off the inning, but was out at second as Ihara hit a groundout to short. Morioka flew out to centre for out number two which brought up Nakamura. Ihara promptly stole second before catcher-Nakamura hit a grounder to first, which chubster-Nakamura, in some karmic revenge for punishing us so hard earlier in the season, let through his glove and out into the outfield which allowed Ihara to score from second for 1-0 Tokyo. It looked an error to these eyes, but it was ruled a hit.

Another two runs followed in the 6th, with a Fukuchi single and the aforementioned Coco homer making it 3-0. That puts Balentien four dingers ahead of he who shall not be named (okay, he’s called pigfuckface) and *should* hopefully put an end to any more triple crown talk.

But after giving up just two hits over the first five, Nakazawa got into a pickle in the 6th. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with two outs for Watanabe, and Nakazawa brushed the front of the infielder’s jersey to give him a free pass to first and the BayStars their first run of the evening for 3-1.

Out went Nakazawa, in came Oshimoto, and he gave up an infield single to first to Kinjoh which made it 3-2. With the bases still juiced, in came Ramirez to pinch-hit, and he showed he still had much love for his homies at Yakult as he flew out to centre to strand the runners.

Tokyo added another run in the 7th as the continually impressive Yuhei hit a pinch-hit single and stole second, before being brought home by Fukuchi’s third hit of the evening for 4-2.

And with Miura seated in the 8th, the Swallows added their final runs of the game off the ‘Stars bullpen. Singles for Kawabata and a pinch-hitting Miyade put two on, and those runners found themselves in scoring positions two outs later with Yuhei at the plate. He hit a flyball to left of centre, with the ball somehow passing straight between the hapless comedy-duo of Koike in left and Aranami in centre, allowing both runs to score as the ball rolled to the fence and Yuhei ended up at third on the error, 6-2 Tokyo Final.

Balentien let’s fly in the 6th

Notes

  • Nakazawa’s final line: 5.2 IP / 102 P / 4 H / 4 K / 1 BB / 2 HBP / 2 ER.
  • After Oshimoto had gotten out of the 6th, Hidaka, Matsuoka and Masubuchi pitched an inning each in relief. The first and last of that trio were lights-out, but Matsuoka gave up two hits as he, as last night, failed to look particularly convincing on his return from injury.
  • In that “other” league, you know, the one where some other teams play, some team from Saitama lost tonight meaning some other team from Hokkaido won their “league”. Whoop-dee-do.
  • The Swallows today announced that they will not be re-signing a fair few pitchers up for next season. The names: Katoh, Onodera, Ichiba, Watanabe, Yamagishi and Kinoshita. Can’t say I’ll particularly miss any of them. They will also say goodbye to perennial backup catcher Masakazu Fukukawa, who I will miss, not sure why, but I will. At 35, it seems he will be retiring.
  • The two teams will meet for the final time this year, thank Christ, tomorrow evening, again in Yokohama. The starters will be Akagawa vs Takasaki.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD’S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto