Sep 21st 2013, @ Hanshin

September 21st, 2013

Hanshin Tigers 7

Tokyo Swallows 7

Streak: Tied 1 Last 5: WWWLT

(Koshien Stadium)

The Swallows managed to build a impressive lead over rookie Fujinami, before slowly losing the lead until the game turned into a five hour 28 minute TIE. It’s been the kind of season where we can walk away with mild disappointment and say, “at least we didn’t lose”.

 
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Swallows
 
Tigers
1Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)1Tsuyoshi Nishioka (2B)
2Masayoshi Miwa (RF)2Katsuhiko Saka (3B)
3Shingo Kawabata (3B)3Matt Murton (LF)
4Wladimir Balentien (LF)4Takeshi Toritani (SS)
5Yuichi (Matsumoto) (1B)5Takahiro Arai (1B)
6Ryoji Aikawa (C)6Kosuke Fukudome (RF)
7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)7Hayato Ito (CF)
8Tetsuto Yamada (2B)8Takashi Shimizu (C)
9Ryohei Kiya (P)9Shintaro Fujinami (P)

The Tigers struck first in the opening inning against Kiya. A walk-double-single combo brought in two runs for the Tigers. 2-0 Tigers Kiya actually got all of his outs in the first via strikeout, but gave up the combo in between.

The Swallows got one back with a Morioka triple and Yamada groundout. 2-1 Tigers

In thr fourth inning the Swallows’ offense exploded. Things started with a Nishioka error that let Yuichi get on base for free. Aikawa singled to put men on the corners. Morioka tied the game with a single to right. 2-2 All Then Fujinami lost some control and walked Yamada. More surprisingly, facing the pitcher, Fujinami walked Kiya on four pitches to walk in a run. 3-2 Swallows Ueda capitalized on a shaky Fujinami by lacing a 1-1 pitch to right to score two more runs.  5-2 Swallows Miwa surrendered the Swallows’ first out of the inning with a ground out that advanced a runner to third. Kawabata followed with a run-scoring ground out. 6-2 Swallows Balentien managed to get a hit off the third base bag, but the inning ended without any further damage on a Yuichi fly out.

Fujinami’s day ended after that inning, but the Swallows were able to get to his replacement, Iwata. Iwata walked Morioka and Kiya to put two men on base with two outs. Ueda managed to get a single to score Morioka. 7-2 Swallows Thus ended the Swallows’ scoring and the beginning of the Tigers’ slow comeback.

After opening the inning with his eighth strikeout of the day, Kiya walked Saka and Murton back-to-back. Toritani got a single to score Saka, and Arai followed with a sac fly to score Murton. 7-4 Swallows Kiya got Fukudome to ground out and the Swallows ended his day.

The Swallows handed the ball to Matsuoka and bad things happened. Matsuoka managed two outs before he walked Shibata. Nishioka followed with a hit to right which Miwa misplayed allowing the runners to advance an extra base. The error cost the Swallows an extra run, as two runs were able to score off of a Saka single. 7-6 Swallows The Swallows called on Barnette to get the last out of the inning, a job he accomplished by getting Murton to fly out to center.

Kyuko kept the Tigers off the board in the seventh with a perfect inning. But the other shoe dropped in the eighth inning with Yamamoto. After getting two outs to start the inning, Yamamoto allowed a single to Shibata followed by a run scoring double to Nishioka. 7-7 All

The bullpen trio of Ishiyama, Roman, and Fujita managed to blank the Tigers over the last four innings of this game, including perfect innings in the tenth and eleventh by Roman. Meanwhile the Swallows offense wasn’t able to squeeze out an extra run despite loading the bases in the twelfth inning. Thus the game ended in a 7-7 tie after twelve innings and 5 hours and 28 minutes of baseball played.

Game Notes

  • The Tigers kept Balentien in check as they got Coco to strikeout three times. Coco ended up going 1-for-4 with a walk and no runs or RBIs. Tony Blanco played for the BayStars but did not get any RBIs keeping the RBI race at 125-122 in favor of Blanco.
  • Fujimoto entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and flied out to center. It was Fujimoto’s 1000th game as a pro and he was cheered warmly by fans of his former team and was given flowers from the Tigers. Fujimoto was also presented flowers prior to the game in recognition of his impending retirement.
  • The Tigers kept their slim chances for winning the CL pennant alive with the tie and subsequent Giants loss. The Giants have a Magic Number of 1 meaning the Swallows will have a chance to finalize the CL pennant race if they beat the Tigers in tomorrow’s afternoon rematch. A Giants win later in the night would also clinch the CL pennant for the Dome-dwellers.
  • The Tigers used all available pitchers through their 12 innings, while the Swallows left Muranaka in the bullpen. The Tigers also used every available offensive player, while the Swallows left catchers Tanaka and Nakamura on the bench.
  • The Swallows will send Yasuhiro Ogawa to the mound to face Akiyama who has historically pitched well against the Swallows.
The Swallows had some big hits but had to settle for a tie.

The Swallows had some big hits but had to settle for a tie.

 

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.