September 18th, 2013
Yokohama BayStars 4
Streak: Won 4 Last 5: LWWWW
|W: Ishikawa (5-8 / 3.77); L: Ohta (2-4 / 3.53); S: Ishiyama (6S / 2.81)|
Some feel-good Swallows based facts for you: They have won four straight. Their bullpen is looking more stable/competent than in quite a while. Coco is now on 58. Coco is also closing in on Tony Blanco for the RBI, and thus the triple crown race. The Swallows are now “just” three games out of 5th place. EXCITED YET??!!!???? No? Ah shit.
|1||Yamada (2B)||1||Ishikawa (2B)|
|2||Ueda (CF)||2||Koike (LF)|
|3||Kawabata (3B)||3||Kajitani (SS)|
|4||Balentien (LF)||4||Nakamura (3B)|
|5||Yuichi (1B)||5||Tamura (LF)|
|6||Ihara (RF)||6||Gotoh (1B)|
|7||Aikawa (C)||7||Kinjo (CF)|
|8||Morioka (SS)||8||Kurobane (C)|
|9||Ishikawa (P)||9||Mishima (P)|
Ishikawa fell behind in the 2nd, giving up two of his trademark solo homers to Tamura and Gotoh, back to back. 2-0 Yokohama. And two singles and a run-scoring GIDP made it 3-0 in the 3rd.
The Swallows finally got to Mishima in the top of the 4th, first via an Ihrara solo shot to left which made it 3-1, and then consecutive doubles from Aikawa and Morioka which put the score at 3-2.
Tokyo then took the lead in the 5th with a couple of back to back solo dingers of their own with two outs. First it was Balentien who hit to left to extend his record to 58 for the season, 3-3, before Yuichi got in on the party with a shot to right to make it 4-3 Tokyo. Coco’s shot also put him just four RBIs behind the injured Tony Blanco in his quest for the triple crown.
And Ishikawa would give up that lead in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t really his fault. After giving up two singles to put men on first and second with one out, Kinjoh hit into what what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Yamada overcooked the relay throw from second, and it sailed over Yuichi’s head allowing the tying run to score from second, and Kinjoh to reach second on the error, 4-4. Yamada committed a second error during the next at-bat, fumbling a simple grounder to allow men to be safe on the corners, but fortunately next man up, the pinch-hitting Morgan, could only strike out and the inning was over.
Unsurprisingly, Tanaka led off the 6th, pinch-hitting for Yamada, and he was walked by reliever Ohta, before Ueda layed down a bunt, but the BayStars’ catcher’s throw to first was wayward and the Swallows had two men on thanks to the error. Not for the first time this year, Ogawa called for another bunt straight away, this time Kawabata at the helm, and Shingo fluffed his bunt attempt, and the out was made at third. Up stepped Balentien, who snuck one through the infield to left and the the Swallows were back in front, 5-4 Tokyo. Coco’s second RBI of the game put him just three behind Blanco. Unfortunately Tokyo couldn’t keep things rolling as Miyamoto then came in to hit into an inning ending double play.
All that was left was for the bullpen trio of Barnette => Yamamoto => Ishiyama to shut things down, much like they did the night before, and it was a 5-4 Tokyo Final.
- Ishikawa’s final line: 6 IP / 94 P / 9 H / 4 K / 0 BB / 4 R / 3 ER. Decent, minus the obligatory solo home runs. It was his fist win since August 22nd vs Yomiuri.
- Alongside Yamada’s calamitous 5th, Tokyo’s other error came from Kawabata, who failed to get a handle on a Nakamura grounder in the 3rd. Oh yeah, and expect Tanaka to start tomorrow’s game. And if he doesn’t then we know Tanaka has obviously done the dirty with one of Ogawa’s daughters. If he even has any.
- Balentien watch: 3 for 4. And with those two RBIs, the chase for the triple crown is most definitely on.
- 19,801 folks took in this one on a comfortable evening in Yokohama. The game lasted a mere 3 hours and 3 minutes.
- Tomorrow will see Yagi take the mound for the birds, facing off against the ‘Stars Soto.