July 6th, 2013
Chunichi Dragons 0
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWLLW
|W: Ogawa (9-2; 2.54 ERA) L: Ohno (4-6; 3.75 ERA)
The irresistible combination of Yasuhiro Ogawa and Coco Balentien once again worked to devastating effect, with another complete game shutout from the former and the latter’s 28th home run of the year propelling Tokyo to victory in Nagoya.
|Yamada (2B)||1||Ohshima (CF)|
|Ueda (CF)||2||Araki (2B)|
|Milledge (LF)||3||Clarke (1B)|
|Balentien (RF)||4||Luna (3B)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||5||Wada (LF)|
|Miyamoto (3B)||6||Hirata (RF)|
|Kawashima (SS)||7||Tanishige (C)|
|Nakamura (C)||8||Ibata (SS)|
|Ogawa (P)||9||Ono (P)|
Both pitchers dominated early, with Ogawa allowing his first hit in the 3rd. First Ibata hit to left with one out on the board, but was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double by an excellent throw from Milledge. Chunichi pitcher Ohno then hit a double to the corner in left to leave Ogawa with his first base runner of the afternoon. Fortunately Ogawa then struck out the Dragons lead off annoyance Oshima looking to get out of the inning.
And Tokyo did a bit more damage with their first hit of the game in the top of the 4th. Milledge led off the inning with a walk, and then Balentien blasted number 28 of the season, an absolute monster shot into the stands in left for 2-0 Tokyo.
Ogawa allowed another two-out double in the bottom of the 4th, this time to Morino (in for the seemingly injured Luna), but Wada grounded out to third to strand another runner at second.
The Swallows threatened again in the top of the 6th. Ueda got on with an infield single that was too hot for Morino to handle at third. Milledge then moved him along with an sac bunt for out number one. The Dragons then applied the no-brainer strategy of pitching around Balentien to get to Hatakeyama, and it paid off as the recently returned chubster hit a tame fly to centre with two men on for out number two. Miyamoto grounded out to second to end the inning and the chance to extend the lead was wasted.
But the lead would be extended in the 7th. A Keizo single to right and a Nakamura sac bunt put another man on second. Ogawa then flew out to centre for out number two before Yamada walked on four straight pitches. This brought up Ueda, and he hit a timely triple to left that got by Wada and to the wall, scoring Keizo and Yamada for 4-0.
Ogawa got in his first major jam of the game in the 7th, and escaped it in spectacular fashion. Consecutive hits from Clarke, Morino and Wada loaded the bases with no outs. Ogawa then struck out Hirata, Tanishige then flew out to centre for out number two, with Clarke bottling the dash home, returning to third after three metres or so. Ibata the grounded out to second and Ogawa’s BALLS OF STEEL status was confirmed as he escaped the bases loaded no-out jam unscathed.
In the 9th, with just the Chunichi clean-up standing between him and his second career complete game shutout, he issued his first walk of the game to Clarke before Morino singled to put two on. Wada then flew out to centre before Hirata showed his generosity by hitting into a 6-4-3 double play and we had ourselves a 4-0 Tokyo Final.
- Ogawa’s final line: 9 IP / 121 P / 8 H / 6 K / 1 BB / 0 ER. It was Ogawa’s second complete game shutout in his last three starts, and his CL leading 9th win of his rookie season. I love this man.
- Balentien looks likely to reach the 30 home run mark by the time the AllStar break hits. Wow.
- Ueda also singled in the top of ths 9th, making it his first three hit game of the season.
- The two teams will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon. Ishikawa will take the mound for Tokyo, against the 63 year old Yamamoto.