September 14th, 2013
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Brace yourself. The Swallows won.
|W: Kiya (3-3; 4.14 ERA)
L: Fujinami (10-6; 2.55)
S: Ishiyama (3-2 4S; 2.92)
But nobody hit a home run tonight.
|Nishioka (2B)||1||Ueda (CF)|
|Shibata (CF)||2||Miwa (RF)|
|Arai Sr. (1B)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Toritani (SS)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|Murton (LF)||5||Yuichi (1B)|
|Fukudome (RF)||6||Aikawa (C)|
|Arai Jr. (3B)||7||Morioka (SS)|
|Shimizu (C)||8||Yamada (2B)|
|Fujinami (P)||9||Kiya (P)|
The Swallows were held hitless through nearly the first four full frames, but Balentien broke up Fujinami’s no-hitter with two outs, and Yuichi followed with a rip up the middle that nearly took Fujinami’s head off. But that’s as far as the good times would go because Aikawa’s grounder was perfectly placed for a force out at second.
The next time that things got interesting was when Murton rounded third on a single up the middle with two outs. Ueda’s throw home was right on the money and well ahead of Murton’s arrival. And there was a collision. A big one. Every Swallows in attendance had flashbacks from the collision in this game. Both began their return to an offensive posture quickly, and in the process Murton appeared to remove Aikawa’s right leg from his general vicinity with a bit of force. For whatever reason, Murton decided to head back toward the plate after standing up, and that was all the extra aggression Aikawa could stand, and a brief shoving match ensued.
The birds benefited from a little more sloppy Hanshin play in the bottom of the seventh on their way to building a two run lead. Yuichi’s single started things off, but things soon appeared to go off the rails when Nishida (now catching thanks to Aikawa’s ejection) Tak-bunted into a force out at second. But Fujinami helped resurrect the Tokyo attack by missing the mark with a sharp pickoff move to first that allowed Nishida to take two bases. Nishida would soon score on a phenomenal diving squeeze bunt by Morioka.
Game three of this series is scheduled for tomorrow, but it looks like we might be looking at some typhoon-related nastiness that could very easily mess with things.
If tomorrow’s game gets cancelled, then the Swallows will head to Yokohama Stadium for a three game set starting on Tuesday. All three games are scheduled for 6PM starts.
Balentien was 1-3 with a single and a walk. He struck out swinging (four pitches), cracked a single to right, popped out to third when it seemed like Hanshin might have been trying to pitch around him, and got a free pass in his last at bat when Hanshin was definitely trying to walk him. He didn’t see a pitch within a foot and a half of home plate during that last at bat.
Even some of the Hanshin fans were booing when Watanabe was brought in to walk Balentien with two outs in the top of the eighth.
Tonight was the first time that the Swallows have recorded a shutout win since the team’s 1-0 win over Chunichi in Matsuyama on August 6th.
Yuichi was the only Tokyo player with more than one hit today. He was 2-4 with a pair of singles to center.
Ishiyama needed only eight pitches to get through the ninth inning and record the save.