June 6th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWLWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The Swallows once again fail to start a winning streak as they fall to the Eagles at home. Tonight’s loss comes courtesy of some bad fielding, and some untimely lapses in pitching.
|W: Norimoto (6-3); L: Ishikawa (2-5)|
|1||Kazuo Matsui (SS)||1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|2||Kazuya Fujita (2B)||2||Wataru Hiyane (CF)|
|3||Ryo Hijirisawa (CF)||3||Lastings Milledge (LF)|
|4||Andruw Jones (1B)||4||Wladimir Balentien (RF)|
|5||Casey McGehee (3B)||5||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|6||Toshiya Nakashima (LF)||6||Ryoji Aikawa (C)|
|7||Yasuhiro Shima (C)||7||Takahiro Araki (3B)|
|8||Teppei (Tsuchiya) (RF)||8||Keizo Kawashima (SS)|
|9||Takahiro Norimoto (P)||9||Masanori Ishikawa (P)|
Ishikawa started the game in control as he got through the Eagles’ order once without much effort. On the offensive side, the Swallows took the lead in the bottom of third. Ishikawa started the inning with a walk, and Yamada lined a solid hit off the left field wall. What should’ve been at least a double, ended up being a single as Ishikawa hesitated on the basepaths, and couldn’t give Yamada the base. Hiyane did his obligatory bunt, and Milledge fouled out for 2 outs. Fortunately back-to-back hits by Balentien and Hatake ensured the Swallows got their runs in. 2-0 Swallows
Ishikawa started the fourth inning with 2 quick outs, but the last out proved to be difficult to get. Hijirisawa got a bloop single, and Ishikawa followed by beaning Andruw Jones marking the first time an Eagle touched second base. McGehee brought everyone home with a jack to left field and Swallows were back to their losing ways. 3-2 Eagles The Eagles got another run on a double/single combo by Nakashima and Shima, before Ishikawa finally ended the inning with a Teppei strikeout. 4-2 Eagles
Ishikawa left the game after the inning, and reports from after the game indicate that he felt tightness in his back. The Swallows are considering skipping his next start and giving him time to recover at Toda.
Shoda came in to relieve Ishikawa and pitched 2 perfect innings. The Swallows came to within 1 run of the Eagles off of an Aikawa solo shot in the sixth inning. 4-3 Eagles Barnette pitched a perfect seventh, and after last night’s game there was still hope in the air at Jingu. That hope was diminished a little in the top of the eighth. Ishiyama came in to pitch and gave up a 1 out double off the right field wall to Matsui. Ishiyama induced a ground ball from Fujita that Yamada fielded a bit off balance. Yamada’s throw looked weak but on target and Hatake whiffed the grab letting Fujita get to first, and Matsui to advance to third. The error was tagged to Yamada, but it felt like Hatake deservedat least a half error on the play as well. The speedy Hijirisawa grounded weakly up the middle, but a combination of Hijirisawa’s speed and Matsui’s break to home caused Kawashima to hesiate and almost miss his throw to first, allowing Matsui to score easily from third. 5-3 Eagles
The cheap insurance run lead to many what ifs later in the night as Balentien lead off the bottom of the eighth with an absolute MONSTER of a homerun to center left field. But instead of tying the game, the Swallows were still behind. 5-4 Eagles
It didn’t really matter as the Oshimoto-Emura pair were unable to keep the game close in the ninth, giving up 4 runs on a combination of big hits, untimely walks, and a dash of poor fielding in the outfield. I’ll spare you the details, but know it was demoralizing. 9-4 Eagles
The Swallows will have day to stew on the loss, before they open a weekend cellar-dweller series against the PL doormat Fighters at Jingu.