April 4th, 2013
Hiroshima Carp 1
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WWWWL
(Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium Hiroshima)
The Carp won their first game of the 2013 campaign with a little help from the Swallows. Neither team looked particularly strong tonight and the game seemed like series of missed opportunities, especially for the Carp.
|W: Bullington (1-1); L: Akagawa (0-1)
S: Mickolio (1)
|1||Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)||1||Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)|
|2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)||2||Yoshihiro Maru (CF)|
|3||Lastings Milledge (LF)||3||Fred Lewis (LF)|
|4||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)||4||Brad Eldred (RF)|
|5||Akinori Iwamura (3B)||5||Kenta Kurihara (1B)|
|6||Yuhei (RF)||6||Eishin Soyogi (SS)|
|7||Ryoji Aikawa (C)||7||Shota Dobayashi (3B)|
|8||Keizo Kawashima (SS)||8||Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)|
|9||Katsuki Akagawa (P)||9||Bryan Bullington (P)|
Both starters kept the score clean and cleaning up their own mistakes. Although Bullington gave up runners in each of his first four innings, he settled down and gave up only one more runner through his last 3 innings. Akagawa, on the other hand, was putting more runners on base than his Carp counterpart by handing out a lot of walks. Despite carring multiple base runners on multiple occasions he managed to buckle down when it counted.
The only scoring play of the night came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Akagawa opened the inning by giving Maru a free pass to first. After Lewis fouled out to third, Eldred threaded a single to left field. Milledge charded the ball in left and tried to throw out Maru trying to take third base. The ball was a little off and wasn’t going to get the runner. Howver, Iwamura let it get past him and the ball caroomed away from Akagawa who was backing up the play (arguably a bit late), and Maru jogged home uncontested. 1-0 Carp An error was charged on the throw by Milledge, but from the angles I’ve seen I think the ball was probably fieldable by Iwamura.
The Carp pitching didn’t give the Swallows any real chances and the only time a Swallows touched second base was following a sac bunt. The final offensive sequence for the Swallows illustrates the kind of night the team was having at the plate. After Milledge got a 1-out single off of Mickolio the team decided to send in Hiyane to pinch run for Milledge. Hiyane, who has good speed on the basepaths but bad jumps from first, lived up to his rep as he was thrown out trying to steal second base on the subsequent pitch. Hatake drew a walk and was replaced on the basepaths by new acquisition, Tanaka. With 2 outs it was on Iwamura to try to keep the game going for the Swallows. But after fouling off Mickolio’s first two pitches, Iwamura watched the third pitch get called strike to end the night on a limp note. 1-0 Carp FINAL
The Swallows will now come home to Jingu to face the strongest offense they’ll have encountered in this young 2013 campaign. Yes, I’m referring to the Yokohama
DeNA Baystars. While the BayStars’ pitching looks as exploitable as ever, their run producing potential looks much better than the Tigers or Carp so far this season. Shohei Tateyama will be looking to avenge his bad opening day outing against Kentaro Takasaki who is arguably the BayStars’ best starter.
- Because the run scored on an error, Eldred was not given credit for an RBI. Coincidentally over in Osaka, the Tigers lost to the Dragons 1-0 in a game without an RBI.
- Akagawa was not charged with an earned run. He pitched 6.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and 5 walks, while getting 5 strikeouts. Had his opposition not been the Carp, things might have gotten much uglier.
- Taiyo Fujita and Ryo Hirai also pitched for the Swallows.
- Aikawa conceded 2 stolen bases, and I’m told by fellow Tsubamegun writer Garrett, that the throws were not close at all.
- The Swallows struck out 9 times over the game, of which 4 were of the looking variety.
- The Swallows retain their position at second place in the CL table.
- Alex Ramirez of the BayStars will come into Jingu with 1997 career NPB hits.
- Speaking of records and milestones, it turns out that Shinya Miyamoto broke the team record for most games played at 2063 yesterday. Miyamoto did not play in today’s game but each game played will put more distance between him and Tsutomu Wakamatsu who played in 2062 games for the Swallows.