May 12th 2013, vs Hanshin

May 12th, 2013

Hanshin Tigers  4

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 4   Last 5: WLLLL

(Botchan Stadium – Matsuyama)

Tokyo got an early lead and held onto it for most of the game thanks to Yagi’s solid start, but Hanshin won the game on a three-run effort in the top of the eighth.

W: Noumi (3-2; 2.76 ERA)
L: Matsuoka (1-2; 6.50)
S: Kubo (2-2, 6S; 3.00)

And guess who was on the mound when the game slipped away…「ミスター・スリー・ラン」.

Nishioka (2B)1Hiyane (CF)
Yamato (2B)2H. Tanaka (2B)
Toritani (SS)3Milledge (LF)
Murton (LF)4Balentien (RF)
R. Arai (3B)5Hatakeyama (1B)
T. Arai (1B)6Miyamoto (3B)
Fujii (C)7M. Tanaka (C)
Shunsuke (RF)8Kawashima (SS)
Noumi (P)9Yagi (P)

Anyway, let’s get this over quickly, shall we?

Yagi threw 132 pitches over seven innings while allowing seven hits, three walks, and striking out three in the process. He didn’t allow a run, earned or otherwise, during that span of time.

Meanwhile, after sitting down in order during the first two frames, Masahiko Tanaka (ie. not Beavis) got a small rally started for the Swallows in the bottom of the third. His single was followed by more of the same from Kawashima, and after a Yagi sac bunt Hiyane lifted a fly ball deep enough to left to score Tanaka from third. Given the four players involved, it was about as improbable a run as you’ll ever see manufactured in professional baseball.

1-0 Tokyo.

But after some huffing and puffing in the fourth, Tokyo was kept at bay for much of the rest of the game.

Hanshin threatened a couple of times (especially in the first), but Yagi was able to wiggle out of everything that he waded into. However, things got ugly in the eighth. There was also some serious damage received in the fourth, but more on that in the game notes below.

Matsuoka took the mound to face Hanshin’s cleanup, and all hell promptly broke loose. Toritani singled, Murton brought him around to score, and two batters later Arai the Elder homered over the wall in left to put the game out of reach for Tokyo.

3-1 Hanshin.

Mizuta, Tokyo’s other backup infielder who once played for Hanshin, got the two dozen attending Tokyo fans’ hopes up when he homered to lead off the bottom of the eighth, but Hatakeyama would eventually strand two runners when he flew out to right.

3-2 Hanshin.

Roman allowed one unearned run in the top of the ninth (Kawashima error), but it ultimately didn’t matter as Hanshin closer, Kubo, sat the Swallows in order in the bottom of that frame.

4-2 Final.


Tokyo have the day off tomorrow as they prepare for the start of the Interleague schedule.

Oh joy.

First up, Saitama come to town for a two-game set (Tues-Wed) with both games scheduled to start at 6PM. The forecast currently predicts fantastic conditions for Tuesday night, so get your ass to the stadium if you live anywhere in Asia. The only chance to see Tokyo win a game seems to be when they are playing at Jingu.

Game Notes:

  • Are you ready for this? We lost another catcher. Masahiko Tanaka (again, not Beavis) fractured his collarbone when Murton slid hard in the fourth. It was certainly a hard hit, and if you live in Japan, then you can watch the video here.
  • If anyone reading this post can catch things and is accustomed to being hit by non-Japanese, please report to Jingu immediately.
  • This game dragged on for three hours and 51 minutes.
  • 18,207 people allegedly bought/were given tickets to this game.
  • Kawashima was the only Swallow to have a multi-hit game. He was the only Tokyo player to reach base twice.
  • Roman saw 7 batters in the top of the ninth.
Ouch #1.

Ouch #1.

Ouch #2.

Ouch #2.

No rest for Nakamura for a while.

On average, Tokyo lose a catcher every 13 games.


About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini