August 20th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 0
Streak: Lost 5 Last 5: All the Ls
|W: UBB (10-5; 3.18 ERA)
L: Furuno (1-1; 2.48)
S: Nishimura (2-2; 31S; 1.33)
An early home run was the difference between the CL’s first and last placed teams, as an excellent Furuno start was squandered by the Swallows bats, who shit the bed early and often with runners on base.
|Sakamoto (SS)||1||Hiyane (CF)|
|Kamei (RF)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|Murata (3B)||3||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Abe (C)||4||Balentien (RF)|
|Ch*no (CF)||5||Kawabata (3B)|
|Lopez (1B)||6||Yamada (2B)|
|Bowker (LF)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|Wakiya (2B)||8||Kawashima (SS)|
|Utsumi AKA Ultimate Bitch Boy (P)||9||Furuno (P)|
After a swift 1-2-3 top of the 1st from Furuno, Tokyo should have taken an early lead in the bottom of the same inning. A lead-off single from Hiyane and back-to-back walks for Coco and Kawabata loaded the bases with two outs, only for Yamada to ground out to short.
And Yomiuri, being the first placed team in the CL that they are, punished that wastefulness in the top of the 2nd, as an Abe double and Lopez home run to left made it 2-0 Yomiuri. Another hit followed for Bowker, but Furuno got out of the inning with the deficit at “just” the two runs.
The Swallows put a man on in each of the 2nd and 3rd innings, and two on in the 4th, but double plays in each inning put paid to any chance of getting back in the game (Kawashima, Hatake, and Nakamura were the guilty parties respectively).
Meanwhile the ever improving Furuno settled down, with perfect 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th frames. The first man he let on post 2nd inning was a lead-off walk for Abe in the top of the 7th. And a fluffed bunt attempt from Ch*no and then Lopez joining in on the double play party meant that Furuno had only given up those three second inning hits over the first seven innings.
Tokyo, who had hitless innings of their own in the 5th and 6th innings, next got another man on with a two-out single from Nakamura in the bottom of the 7th. Miyamoto was summoned from the bench to hit for Keizo, but alas he could only manage to ground out to third to end the inning. Morioka then appeared at short in place of Keizo in the top of the 8th.
Furuno ended his shift with three more straight outs in the 8th, before he was replaced by Hiroyasu Tanaka in the bottom of the inning. Hiroyasu grounded out to short but Hiyane got on board with his second hit of the night. Unfortunately Ueda and the pinch-hitting Iwamura could only strike out and Furuno was still in line for his first loss of his nascent starter’s career.
Tony Barnette came in to pitch to the top of the Yomiuri order in the 9th, and after getting two quick outs he walked Murata on eight pitches which brought up Piggy Overlord Abe to the plate. And after working the count full, the Overlord snuck one up the middle which put men on the corners for Ch*no. Thankfully Tony struck Ch*no out swinging to give the Swallows a chance to save the game in the bottom of the 9th. And they almost managed it.
Facing quite possibly the world’s ugliest human being in closer Nishimura, Balentien started the inning by grounding out to short. Kawabata did the same, this time to third, but a Murata throwing error meant he was safe at first and Tokyo were still alive. In came the “called back up to the top team today” Yuichi for Yamada who singled to right to put two on. Next up was Nakamura, who was trying to avoid the same double play trap he hit into in exactly the same situation in the 3rd, and he remained patient as he worked a walk on six pitches to load the bases with only the one out on the board. Up came Morioka, but he only managed to strike out with the count a 2-2 as he failed to hold off on a fork ball in the dirt. Last up was Takeuchi and he took three straight balls to put Nishimura on the brink. He then took another pitch for a strike before flying out to left for a 2-0 Yomiuri Final.
- Furuno’s final line: 8 IP / 101 P / 3 H / 3 K / 1 BB / 2 ER. He took the loss, his first as a pro. But he can take heart from another excellent outing, and his place in the starting rotation now seems secure.
- Tokyo outhit Yomiuri 8-4, with only that 9th inning single coming outside of the 2nd inning for the Swallows’ neighbours. Hiyane and Nakamura both had two-hit evenings.
- Balentien, who came into the game nursing a tweaked left ankle sustained in Sunday’s loss to Hanshin, went 0 for 3 with a walk.
- The two teams will return to Jingu for two games from tomorrow evening, with Yagi due on the mound for Tokyo against some chump in orange.