August 14th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 12
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WWLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Yagi (4-8); L: Nishikawa (1-3)|
The Birds started off big, with Yagi really settling in continuing to turn his disappointing season around. Like the end of Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight, it’s a bit corny in it’s simplicity – score a lot – but it absolutely worked and won back the hearts of disillusioned Tokyo fans.
|1||Fujii (CF)||1||Hiyane (LF)|
|2||Araki (2B)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|3||Morino (1B)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Luna (3B)||4||Balentien (RF)|
|5||Wada (LF)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|6||Hirata (RF)||6||Morioka (SS)|
|7||Ibata (SS)||7||Yamada (2B)|
|8||Tanishige (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Nishikawa (P)||9||Yagi (P)|
|RP||Inoue, Muto, Oguma||RP||Oshimoto|
Great first inning. After Yagi retired the Dragons 1-2-3 on nine pitches, Nishikawa saw the return for his making inappropriate remarks to the wives, girlfriends, and sisters of all of the Swallows. Whatever he did, Tokyo wasted no time in beating the crap out of him.
Hiyane singled to right, followed by an Ueda RBI triple to the right field fence. Kawabata then pounded an RBI single to center. Balentien then singled – an odd underachievement in this particular inning – before Hatakeyama smacked an RBI double before Morioka and Yamada added RBI singles to the mix. 5-0 Tokyo.
After another 1-2-3 side, Inoue took the mound for Chunichi and the Birds added a couple more chalk marks to the board. Hiyane led off with a hit again, scoring when Kawabata drove the first pitch he saw – a fastball right over the middle – into the home bleachers. 7-0 Tokyo.
The Dragons got on the board in the fourth, when the wheels came off a bit, most notably in the form of a painful Hiyane bobble that allowed in the run – after blowing the catch, he twice tried and failed to pick the ball with his glove – so much for those vaunted Japanese fundamentals. He probably needs to go run 500 laps and hang from a high tree branch by his arms for an hour.
Morino scored from third on a Hirata double as Yagi’s one-hitter ballooned to a four-hitter. 7-1 Tokyo.
Despite the ugly fielding, Hiyane continued to be hotter than Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise, leading off the bottom of the fourth with a double, making it to third on an Ueda ground-out, then scoring on a Kawabata double. Kawabata went on to score on a Hatake double. 9-1 Tokyo.
Chunichi added another run in the fifth, when Fujii ended a long at-bat with a home run to center off a fastball down the middle. 9-2 Tokyo.
In the bottom of the fifth, Muto took the mound for Chunichi and Matsui relieved Tanishige (interestingly, the only man to ever play catcher for Chunichi) behind the plate.
An out into the bottom of the sixth, Kawabata singled and was driven in by a Coco double. Balentien moved to third on a wild pitch to Hatake and scored on a Morioka double to right. 11-2 Tokyo.
Balentien smacked the first pitch he saw – a high fastball – to the top of the left field stands. 12-2 Tokyo, Final.
Oshimoto hurled the pebble for Tokyo in the ninth and held the line. Sweep chance tomorrow.