May 6th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LLLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
In honor of golden week, both teams decided to make the game as interesting as possible for all in attendance. Chunichi even agreed to let the Birds take home the win in spectacular fashion!!*
|W: Oshimoto (1-0) L: Tajima (0-4)|
Tonight saw Matsuoka back on the hill. In his last performance, he got the win thanks to Coco and the boys beating the piss out of the ball at Yokohama. Tonight, was a bit more of a challenge.
|1||Ooshima (CF)||1||Hiyane (CF)|
|2||Araki (RF)||2||Tanaka H. (2B0|
|3||Wada (LF)||3||Milledge (LF)|
|4||Luna (3B)||4||Balentein (RF)|
|5||Morino (2B)||5||Iwamura (3B)|
|6||Ibata (SS)||6||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|7||Clark (1B)||7||Morioka (SS)|
|8||Tanishige (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Yamauchi (P)||9||Matsuoka (P)|
As I mentioned above, the Dragons were in a generous mood from the outset. The reason being that their catcher, Tanishige, was only 2 hits away from the magic number of 2000. So, to keep things interesting, the Birds were granted an early lead as long as they made sure Tanishige got the two hits he needed.*
So, in the first inning, the Birds took the early lead. It started with a 1-out walk to Tanaka. Milledge then hit a double to knock him in. 1 – 0 Tokyo
Coco then drew his first (unintentional intentional) walk of the night. Iwamura followed that with a single to drive in Milledge. 2 – 0 Tokyo
Hata then struck out for the second out of the inning. Morioka then drove the ball to left to score Coco and give the Birds a 3-run advantage. 3 – 0 Tokyo
It would stay that way until the top of the 4th. Wada lead off with his second single of the night. Luna then reached base on a poor fielding play by Morioka. It was ruled a hit but Morioka took WAAYY too long to make the throw to first. Morino then dropped in a single to left to load the bases and nobody was out. Ibata then opened the scoring for Chunichi when he hit a looping single to right. 3 – 1 Tokyo
Clark would be the 1st out of the inning when he flew out to Morioka. Tanishige would get career hit #1999 in style. He hit a double to left to score two and tie the game. 3 -3
After that, Matsuoka’s evening was over (all part of the secret agreement between the two teams*) and in came Shouda. He would get Tanaka and Ooshima to ground out to end the threat and the inning.
The Dragons would threaten again in the 5th inning by loading the bases. However, Oshimoto would eventually settle down and the Dragons were held off the scoreboard.
Tanishige would get his 2000th hit in the top of the 6th. He received the standard bouquet from the Yakult organization. Congrats to him. I can’t believe he is still playing catcher at the ripe young age of 42! Well done, sir. Well done!
We jump to the bottom of the 6th. Tajima was now on the mound for the Dragons. Coco welcomed him with a single to left. Iwamura followed suit with a single to center. Boo would strike out for the 1st out of the inning. Morioka would single after a rather unusual at bat. With the count 2 balls and 1 strike, Morioka swung at the 4th pitch. However, Tajima’s pitch was so inside, it actually hit Morioka. Although he was hit, Morioka had to remain in the box because he made a full swing at the pitch. On the fifth pitch, he lined it back up the middle to load the bases. Takeuchi came to bat in place of Oshimoto. Ogawa looked like a genius with this move. With the count 2-2. Takeuchi hit a shot to the right-center bleachers to clear the bases with a grand slam. 7 – 3 Tokyo
There were a few more exciting moments for the kids but no more runs were scored. 7 – 3 Tokyo (FINAL)
* This is all speculation on my part of course, except for the fact that Tokyo did win the game in spectacular fashion!!
- This was Takeuchi’s first career grand slam
- Tanishige is the 44th player to reach 2000 hits in Japan.
- This was the 3rd time this year that the Swallows have given up the 2000th hit to someone; Alex Ramírez and Norihiro Nakamura being the other two
- Tomorrow will see Yoshimi vs. Muranaka