May 11th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Lost 3 Last 5: WWLLL
(Botchan Stadium – Matsuyama)
Rookie Yasuhiro Ogawa took to the mound to try to avenge his drubbing from last week. Unfortunately despite an OK start, Ogawa and the Swallows’ pitching served up enough meatballs that the Swallows’ offense was never able to catch up.
|W: Tsuru (1-0) L: Oshimoto (1-2)|
|1||Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2B)||1||Wataru Hiyane (CF)|
|2||Yamato (Maeda) (CF)||2||Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)|
|3||Takeshi Toritani (SS)||3||Lastings Milledge (LF)|
|4||Matt Murton (LF)||4||Wladimir Balentien (RF)|
|5||Ryota Arai (3B)||5||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|6||Takahiro Arai (1B)||6||Shinya Miyamoto (3B)|
|7||Takeshi Hidaka (C)||7||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|8||Hayata Ito (RF)||8||Keizo Kawashima (SS)|
|9||Minoru Iwata (P)||9||Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)|
The Tigers struck first with a Nishioka bloop single to left, followed by a sac bunt, and topped off by a Toritani double to score 1. 1-0 Tigers
The Swallows came back in a big way in the bottom of the second inning. Coco started off the inning with a double. Hatake and Miyamoto went down easily for 2 outs. But Iwata walked Nakamura and Keizo made him pay with a single to score Coco. 1-1 All Ogawa proceeded to hit a ball over the head of a shallow-playing Tigers’ outfield for a double to score an extra 2 runs. 3-1 Swallows This would be the first and last time the Swallows held the lead against the Tigers tonight.
Ogawa had started his hot season with an abnormally low BABIP (.207 prior to last week’s game and .247 prior to tonight’s game), but in the third inning he got to see what happens when the ball doesn’t land in your favor. Things started to go wrong after Ogawa gave up a clean one out hit to Nishioka. Ogawa got Yamato to ground out for out number two, although Nishioka managed to advance all the way to third on the play. Nishioka’s advance became somewhat moot, as Ogawa proceeded to load the bases on consecutive walks. Arai the younger swung hard at the first pitch he saw off of Ogawa and got jammed. Unfortunately the ball sailed down the right field foul line and landed just in front of Balentien who got there a hair late. With the runners running with two outs, two runs came to score and Arai the younger was credited with a double. 3-3 All Arai the elder took back the lead with a scorching 2-2 grounder along the third base line just past a diving Miyamoto for a 2 run double of his own. 5-3 Tigers
The Swallows showed some fight in the bottom of the fourth. A Miyamoto single and a Keizo double put men on second and third with just one out. Genki Nitta came in to hit for Ogawa. Nitta chopped a grounder just weak enough to second to give Miyamoto just enough time to slide under the tag at home. 5-4 Swallows HIyane followed with a beautiful squeeze bunt down the first base line which forced left handed Iwata to make a awkward field and throw attempt to home. The ball didn’t made it cleanly into Hidaka’s glove and Keizo scored the tying run. 5-5 All
Unfortunately that was the end of the see-saw scoring action as the Swallows’ bullpen imploded and the Tigers’ bullpen held the Swallows bats. The Tigers would score two runs in the fifth off of Oshimoto and Shoda (both runs creditted to Oshimoto). Followed by a three runs off of Emura courtesy of a Toritani homerun in the sixth inning. 10-5 Tigers
Shichijo pitched a perfect seventh inning, but in the eighth succumbed to the same hit, sac bunt, hit (this time a single) combo that gave the Tigers’ their first run. 11-5 Tigers
After being held 1-for-10 between the fifth and seventh innings, the Swallows finally showed some offensive spark in the eighth. Balentien started the inning with a solo homerun. 11-6 Tigers Singles by Hatake, Nakamura, and Keizo managed to plate another run, but no more. 11-7 Tigers
Matsuoka came in to pitch the ninth inning and was the only pitcher to really do his job tonight as he got the bottom of the Tigers’ order to go down 1-2-3. The Swallows somehow found themselves with the tying run at the plate with no outs in the ninth inning. Fukuhara gave up back-to-back singles to Hiroyasu and Milledge, and then walked Balentien. One mighty swing, or a combination of hits by Hatake, Miwa, or Nakmura could’ve tied the game but Fukuhara manged to buckle down and kept the Swallows off the board. 11-7 Tigers FINAL
- The game lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes and 20,115 (mostly Hanshin) fans watched the game.
- Nishioka went 5-for-5 with 4 runs scored. Toritani and Murton had 3 hit games.
- On the Swallows’ side, Balentien came within a triple of the cycle, and Keizo also had a 3 hit game.
- The Swallows will attempt to salvage the series tomorrow afternoon with Yagi. The Tigers will counter with Nomi who will get the start due to an injury to Fujinami.
- Nakamura and R. Arai were involved in an awkward collision on the Tigers’ second run in the fifth. Nakamura rolled around for a bit but stayed in the game.