April 23rd, 2013
Hiroshima Carp 1
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Emura (1-0; 0.00 ERA) L: Imamura (0-2; 3.29 ERA)
S: Yamamoto (1 S; 1.17 ERA)
These things all happened tonight: the Swallows halted their scoreless innings streak at 26, a 65 year old man started a fight with a 49 year old, and, erm, oh yeah, THE SWALLOWS WON THEIR FIRST GAME IN A WEEK!! HURRAH!!
|Lewis (LF)||1||Tanaka (2B)|
|Kikuchi (2B)||2||Morioka (SS)|
|Maru (CF)||3||Milledge (LF)|
|Hirose (RF)||4||Balentien (RF)|
|Soyogi (SS)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Kurihara (1B)||6||Miyamoto (3B)|
|Dohbayashi (3B)||7||Takeuchi (CF)|
|Ishihara (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|Bullington (P)||9||Muranaka (P)|
After consecutive 1-5 losing weeks of baseball, Tokyo came into tonight’s game also having been shut out for the last 24 innings of baseball. And after being held hitless by Carp starter Burlington for the first two innings of this one, they finally managed to snap that streak in the 3rd. Singles from Nakamura and Tanaka put men on the corners for Morioka, and he hit a sacrifice fly to left to bring the catcher home for 1-0 Tokyo.
Muranaka meanwhile huffed and puffed his way through the first seven innings, allowing a fair amount of men on base via either the single (5), free pass to first (3), or plunked batter (1). But this being Hiroshima, they stranded all their men and allowed Muranaka to keep posting those goose eggs up on the board.
But it was in the 8th that things got really interesting. Muranaka’s fourth walk of the evening, a stolen second base, and a sac bunt put a man on third with one out for Kenta Kurihara. Muranaka was sat with his pitch count now at 135 for the evening, and Furano appeared in his place. But the 26 year old second year righty couldn’t deliver as Kurihara hit one deep to left for a double which would plate the tying run for a 1-1 scoreline. Furano then got Dohbayashi to ground out before he walked Ishihara on four pitches, all of which were inside, and the last of which was also high and close to the hands which seemed to annoy the Hiroshima catcher.
In came the rookie Emura to face veteran pinch hitter and fan favourite Tomonori Maeda. With his sixth pitch of the at-bat, and the count at 2-2, another pitch up and inside hit Maeda on the left forearm. Maeda then walked toward the mound, yapping at Emura in the way that so many drunken salary man shout at younger guys when out on the piss after they feel they have been disrespected by their “inferiors”. Emura, obviously intimidated by it all, immediately removed his cap and started apologising, and Maeda altered his course toward first before leaving the field, clearly hurt. This didn’t stop the benches from clearing, and at first said clearing seemed highly unnecessary, until Carp pitching coach Furusawa went right at his Tokyo equivalent Araki, no doubt complaining about the inside pitches, which lead to a scuffle at the mound, with Araki defending his young pitcher before Furusawa was dragged away. After everyone had returned to the benches, the home plate ump took to the mic to detail how the Hiroshima coach had been ejected from the game, and that both teams had been warned. Meanwhile Araki gave Emura a pep-talk before he faced Lewis in a bases loaded two-out pinch. And said pep-talk worked as the 25 year old struck out Lewis swinging to get out of the inning with the scores still tied.
And so to the bottom of the 8th. With reliever Imamura on the mound, a two-out single from Morioka ( who was then replaced with Kawashima on first), and a double along the right foul line from Milledge put two in scoring positions for the man who won Tokyo’s last winning game for them, Coco Balentien. And he hit a double to the wall in left of centre which scored two for 3-1 Tokyo.
With Barnette on the DL, in came Yamamoto who sat the last three down in order, all via grounders, and everyone breathed a sight of relief. 3-1 Tokyo Final.
- Muranaka’s final line: 7.1 IP / 5 H / 4 K / 4 BB / 1 HBP / 1 ER. He wasn’t involved in the final decision and his record stays at 2-1 with his ERA now at 2.66.
- Emura earned his first win as a pro, and he handled himself really well in that 8th inning, keeping his composure which must have been difficult given all the senpai/kohai bullshit that goes on over here, especially given Maeda’s popularity. Props to Araki for sticking up for him.
- Outside of the two Tokyo run scoring innings, the Swallows bats were hitless. Still much work to be done there.
- 14,312 folks were present for this one which lasted three and a half hours on the dot.
- Tokyo now lead the season series with the Carp 3-1. It will not surprise you to hear that Hiroshima are the only team against which they have a winning record.
- They remain in the CL basement, a game behind Chunichi.
- The Swallows will attempt to win their first back-to-back games since the first two games of this month tomorrow. Rookie Ogawa will take on Ohtake on the mound.