September 24th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 10
Streak: Last 5: LTWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Ishikawa (6-8; 3.72 ERA)
L: Utsumi (13-6; 3.28)
Tokyo took advantage of a Giants team still groggy from the traditional post-pennant clinching celebration of Yomiuri brand coke and hookers, as they stomped their opponents into the ground at a merry Jingu Stadium. The win also put Tokyo just 2.5 games behind Yokohama in the sporting story that has the whole of Japan talking: THE RACE FOR FIFTH.
|Ch*no (RF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Terauchi (2B)||2||Hiyane (CF)|
|Sakamoto (SS)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Murata (3B)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|Lopez (1B)||5||Ihara (RF)|
|Yano (LF)||6||Aikawa (C)|
|Hashimoto (LF)||7||Yuichi (1B)|
|Katoh (C)||8||Kawashima (SS)|
|Utsumi (P)||9||Ishikawa (P)|
Tokyo took the lead through an unlikely source in the 2nd against Utsumi. With two outs, a Yuichi single up the middle was followed by a shot into the left field bleachers from little Keizo Kawashima and it was 2-0 Tokyo.
Another non-Coco home run followed to extend the lead in the 3rd, a solo shot from Yamada, his first of the season and only the second of his young career, making it 3-0.
Utsumi continued to stink up the joint in the 4th, as a walk for Ihara, an Aikawa single, and run-scoring ground out from Yuichi made it 4-0.
And in the 5th singles for Hiyane and Balentien were followed by Ihara’s second straight walk which loaded the bases for Aikawa with a solitary out on the board. The veteran catcher then singled to make it 5-0, before Yuichi blew the doors off with a bases clearing triple up the first base foul line to make it 8-0. Unfortunately for the Swallows, Usumi was then given the hook as Yomiuri moved to the bullpen, with Tahara appearing on the mound in his place.
That didn’t really help though, as Keizo notched up his third hit of the game, a single through the infield to right which capped the scoring for the five-run inning, as Tokyo found themselves up 9-0.
After holding the Yomiuri bats to four hits and no runs over the first six innings, Ishikawa finally let them on the board in the 7th, allowing two runs off three hits for 9-2.
Another wee downer for Tokyo came in the bottom of the 7th, as Balentien, 1 for 3 to that point, was tossed from the game for arguing a called third strike, that he thought was low/inside/both. The home plate ump seemed pretty quick to eject him, after which Coco got in his face a touch, the key phrase seemingly being “That’s bullshit!”, but it was nothing too aggressive and a token small fine should come his way tomorrow. It was his first ejection of his NPB career.
Things got back on track in the bottom of the 8th, with a Keizo walk, an Ishikawa sac-bunt, and a double from Yamada to the corner in left putting the score at 10-2.
Ishikawa allowed his third run of the game in the 9th, via a triple and run-scoring ground out, but that was it for a 10-3 Tokyo Final.
- Ishikawa’s final line: 9 IP / 117 P / 9 H / 3 K / 0 BB / 3 ER. It was his second complete game of the season, and his second win in as many starts.
- After his emotional farewell appearance at Koshien this last weekend. Atsushi Fujimoto made what appears to be his last appearance of his pro-career, appearing as a pinch hitter in the 6th inning of tonight’s game. He struck out swinging, but gave a speech post-game, expressing his gratitude for the support during his short spell in Tokyo. He was also tossed into the air several times by his team-mates. Look for an article on Fujimoto here on Tsubamegun sometime in the not to distant future.
- The Swallows racked up 13 hits, with Keizo leading the way with three of them, and Yamada, Kawabata, Aikawa, and Yuichi all getting two apiece.
- It was Utsumi’s first loss against the Swallows this season. And it tastes so very sweet.
- The Swallows now trail in the season series 7-10, and have now won their last three against the orange stains from across town. With six games left to play between the teams, there is still plenty of time for Tokyo to take the season series, and thus be officially better than Yomiuri and take their place in the Climax Series final stage. I’m still unsure of the exact rules on that one……..
- Tokyo are still undefeated against Yomiuri at Jingu in 2013.
- It seems Swallows manager Junji Ogawa will be asked to return next season, despite reports that he was planning to resign at the end of this year in order to take responsibility for his under-performing team. Not sure how I feel about that, but we’ll discuss it at length in the next edition of the Tokyo Swallows Podcast.
- Tomorrow will see Matsuoka take on Miyagumi on the mound for the good guys.