10/13/12 – CL Climax Series First Stage – Tokyo @ Chunichi (Game 1)

October 13th, 2011

Tokyo Swallows 1

Chunichi Dragons 6

Series: Chunichi 1-0 Tokyo

(Nagoya Dome)

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W: Nakata (1-0; 0.00 ERA) L: Ishikawa (0-1; 4.50)

Tokyo were dismantled with ease by Chunichi in the first game of the playoffs, in a game that neither the bats or pitching did much at all for the cause.

 Tokyo Chunichi
1Yuhei (CF)1Oshia (CF)
2Tanaka (2B)2Araki (2B)
3Milledge (LF)3Morino (3B)
4Balentien RF4Blanco 1B
5Kawabata (SS)5Wada (LF)
6Miyamoto (3B)6Ibata (SS)
7Hatakeyama (1B)7One of the Donoues (RF)
8Aikawa (C)8Tanishige (C)
9Ishikawa (P)9Nakata (P)

Ogawa made the questionable decision of starting Ishikawa for game one of the Climax Series first stage, which was taking place in a Nagoya Dome featuring close to 10,000 empty seats. Feel that passion! (Fuck. Chunichi.)

Ishikawa remember, is a pitcher who has endured his worst season in some five years, and managed to win just two games post-July 4th, with both of those games coming against teams with nothing to play for.

And indeed he struggled from the off, giving up two infield singles in the 1st to put men on the corners with one out. Luckily for him and Tokyo, Tony Blanco hit into a double play to end the inning with the scores still tied.

The Swallows’ first hit of the game came in the 3rd, a one-double from Aikawa putting Nakata in his first pinch of the game. But strikeouts from Ishikawa and Yuhei left the catcher stranded at second.

In the bottom of the 3rd a double from (the pitcher) Nakata and a walk put men on the corners with two outs for Morino, but the inflatable-faced freak struck out to let Ishikawa off the hook once more.

But Ishikawa would not survive unscathed in the bottom of the 4th as he succumbed to his weakness, the long ball, as a Blanco walk and home run to left for Wada made it 2-0 Chunichi.

Tokyo had a chance to strike back in the top of the 5th, as singles from Miyamoto and Aikawa put men on first and second with two outs. In came Fujimoto for Ishikawa and he only managed to fly out to left to end the inning.

After that it was pretty much all Chunichi. Roman came in to pitch from the 5th, and in the 6th a Wada single (advancing to second on a ground-out) and another for one of the Donoues put the Dragons further ahead at 3-0.

Tokyo’s only run of the game came in the top of the 7th, as Balentien took Chunichi reliever Tajima deep to left to make it 3-1. Two further walks from Tajima put men on first and second with two outs for Aikawa, but in came Asao for the Dragons, and he got Aikawa to fly out to left to end the inning.

And that was as close as they would get as Hidaka gave up two hits and a walk in the bottom of the 7th to load the bases with no outs. In came Matsuoka and he allowed a single, a fly-out to centre, and another single, with a run scoring on each of those plays to make it 6-1.

In the 8th a one-out walk for Tanaka and a single from the returning Milledge put two on for Balentien, but he could only fly out to second for out number two. Kawabata then walked to load the bases for Miyamoto, but he only managed to ground out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Tokyo went down 1-2-3 to the Chunichi bullpen in the 9th, as they surrendered oh-so-meekly for a 6-1 Chunichi Final.

The only spirit-lifting photo I could find: Tsubakuro maces the Chunichi cheerleaders.

Notes

  • Not much more to be said here really. Ogawa went with the Ishikawa-Roman relay and both gave up runs, while the offence couldn’t muster anything of note. Which all equals an easy Chunichi win and a very very very shitty game of baseball to watch for Swallows fans.
  • Milledge made his return from injury starting the game batting third, going 1 for 4 with that 8th inning single.
  • Shichijo pitched a perfect bottom of the 8th.
  • As previously mentioned, swathes of empty seats were to be seen inside the Nagoya Dome. The passion of the Chunichi baseball fans knows no bounds. Can’t we swap them for a PL team and kick their uber-boring asses out of the CL? Please?
  • The fact that Ishikawa and Roman were used today would point toward Tateyama starting tomorrow’s do or die affair and, if he gets any run support and the Swallows manage to win, Monday would likely see some kind of Muranaka-Akagawa relay on the mound.
  • Team Tsubamegun watched this one in quite possibly the only bar in Tokyo to feature a bunch of (casual) Dragon’s fans, whose whoops of fake joy made the experience even more “special”. At least we weren’t at the Nagoya Dome.
  • Anyway, that’s all I can muster for this one. Let’s all hope for better tomorrow, or else baseball will cease to exist for another five months.

 

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

  • ‘M’

    Batting 7th for the Dragons… “Some chimp”

    Love the photo. Maybe the empty seats were as a result of Tsubakuro’s macing campaign as they as entered that dogshit tunnel of propaganda from the subway station.

  • Dr. No

    Why does the channel never work when it rains. I’m missing game 2…