May 28th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Lost 2 Last 5: LDWLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Higa (1-1; 1.62 ERA)
L: Muranaka (3-4; 3.25)
S: Hirano (11S; 1.19)
The Swallows lost another game. With the way 2013 has gone thus far, this should surprise no one. Woe is me.
|Adachi (SS)||1||Milledge (LF)|
|Sakaguchi (CF)||2||Morioka (SS)|
|Baldiris (3B)||3||Iwamura (3B)|
|Lee (1B)||4||Balentien (RF)|
|Itoi (RF)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Rottino (LF)||6||IIhara (CF)|
|Gotoh (2B)||7||Yamada (2B)|
|Itoh (C)||8||Aikawa (C)|
|Dickson (P)||9||Muranaka (P)|
Muranaka started off very Muranaka in the top of the 1st, giving up two doubles in the inning to make it 1-0 Orix. Kyohei did however escape the inning and stranded two men in scoring positions in the process, so it could have been more Muranaka-esque.
After being held hitless over the first two frames by Buffaloes’ starter Dickson, the Swallows pulled level in the 3rd, though it could have been so much more. A single for Yamada, a walk for Milledge and a timely single from Morioka tied proceedings up at 1-1. Iwamura worked a walk to load the bases for Balentien, but he grounded out to short to waste all that juice.
After Muranaka had held them hitless over the 2nd and 3rd, Orix threatened again in the 4th. A Rottino double and Gotoh single put two men in scoring positions once again for pitcher Dickson, and it looked real bleak for a few seconds as he hit sharply to shallow left, but an excellent diving catch by Milledge kept the Buffaloes from re-taking the lead.
But that was only a postponing of the inevitable, as Orix took the lead in emphatic fashion in the 5th. A single from Sakaguchi got things underway before back-to-back homers from Baldiris and the human pear that is Dae-Ho Lee made it 4-1 Orix.
That lead was cut in the bottom of the 5th, as a lead off Aikawa single, followed by two grounders which saw the returning veteran catcher reach third. Morioka then plated his second run of the contest for 4-2. Iwamura then singled to put men on first and second which saw Orix move to the bullpen, but Balentien again wasted an opportunity as he struck out swinging to end the inning.
With Oshimoto taking the mound in Muranaka’s place in the 6th, a one-out single from Itoh put one on, but pinch hitter Kawabata hit a fly ball to very shallow right, with an excellent running catch from Yamada, followed by a jog and throw to first picking off the hopelessly advanced Itoh ended the inning.
Yamamoto put a portion of his recent nightmarish form behind him in the 7th, as despite letting two on via a single and a walk, he stuck out Itoi to depart the inning with the deficit still at two.
Matsuoka allowed a man to reach second in both the 8th and 9th but while he stranded the man there the first time, he allowed the second home in the 9th for a 5-2 scoreline. Shoda entered the game to get the final out stranding a man on third.
As you may have gathered with all these pitchers names being mentioned, while the Tokyo bullpen toiled to attempt keep the Orix lead within striking distance, the bats once again couldn’t respond. Though singles for Ihara and Aikawa, along with a walk for the pinch hitting Miyamoto loaded the bases with one out in the 9th, Buffaloes closer Hirano struck out Milledge and Morioka swinging and we had ourselves a 5-2 Orix Final.
- Aikawa’s three hits this evening were the 998th, 999th, and 1000th of his career. Congratulations Ryoji on reaching the 1000 hit landmark!
- Muranaka’s final line: 5 IP / 75 P / 7 H / 1 K / 2 BB / 4 ER. As the season progresses he is slowly but surely regressing to the Muranaka line of abject mediocrity and ultimate dissapointment.
- Unlike in recent losses, the Swallows actually created the chances to have won this one, but managed just the two runs off their nine hits. That didn’t really make this loss any easier to stomach. 2013 has not been a fun one for the Swallows faithful so far.
- Again, Tokyo failed to snap a losing streak at one. April 10th is (still) the last time they managed to bounce back from a solitary loss.
- At least all the other CL teams also lost this evening.
- Tomorrow’s game will see Roman given (possibly his final) chance to stake a claim for a spot in the starting rotation with Chris Leroux waiting in the wings. Orlando will face Orix starter Matsuba.