August 28th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Lost 2 Last 5: LLWLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Yamamoto (5-2); L: Yagi (5-9)|
The playoffs just mean more work anyway. Who wants that?
|1||Fujii (CF)||1||Hiyane (RF)|
|2||Ibata (SS)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|3||Morino (2B)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Wada (LF)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|5||Hirata (RF)||5||Yuichi (1B)|
|6||Clark (1B)||6||Tanaka (2B)|
|7||Takahashi (3B)||7||Yachi (SS)|
|8||Oda (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Yamamoto (P)||9||Yagi (P)|
|RP||Muto, Asao, Madrigal, Okada||RP||Fujita, Kyuko, Emura|
Wednesdays with Yagi have been up and down. One can only assume he’s trying to boost batters’ self-esteem to lead them better lives.
The Dragons scored first, and big, in the top of the second. Wada hit, Hirata hit, Clark and Takahashi both drove in runs. Oda hit to load the bases and the pitcher, Yamamoto drove in another run. Fujii grounded out (first out of the inning), but still drove in a run. 4-0 Chunichi.
The Birds made up a bit of that whopping early deficit when Yuichi reached base on an error and advanced to third on successive outs before scoring on a Yachi single – his first. 4-1 Chunichi.
A Wada solo home run to lead off the third rebuilt the Dragons’ lead. 5-1 Chunichi.
Things got ugly in the fifth when Yagi melted into the mound, reforming as a tee off of which Dragons could hit at will. Wada and Hirata singled and were brought in by a Clark homer. Takahashi and Oda then, being impatient, homered themselves. 10-1 Chunichi.
Chunichi’s Yamamoto showed his own weaknesses in the bottom of the fifth, though. Nakamura knocked a low fastball over the middle for a round-tripper. Yamada, pinch-hitting for the shell-shocked Yagi, and Hiyane both singled, then scored on a double by Ueda. Kawabata got Ueda to third and Balentien drove him in with a line-drive single to center. 10-5 Chunichi.
In the bottom of the seventh, with Muto on the mound for Chunichi, Ueda and Kawabata strung together hits, which, combined with a Coco walk, loaded the bases for a Yuichi RBI ground-out. 10-6 Chunichi.
Clark hit a second home run – this one solo, off Emura, in the top of the ninth. 11-6 Chunichi.
In the bottom of the ninth, Coco Balentien smacked home run number 51 to left on a high slider served up by Okada.
That gives him 32 otherwise painful games to hit a mere five more. (Nope, nope. No jinxes here. An earthquake hit literally the moment I typed that. Or maybe it was a very large truck passing very close by. Or maybe my chair is weak. Message received, whatever it was.) 11-7 Chunichi, Final.
Game 3 against the Dragons tomorrow.