October 8th, 2013
Yomiuri Giants 4
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLLWL
Listening to tonight’s game I was poised to write a nice write up in which the Swallows end the season on a high note and send the Giants to the playoffs on a down note. Unfortunately, as it has been the case most of this season, things did not go the Swallows way.
|W: Sawamura (5-10); L: Ishiyama (3-3)|
|1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)||1||Hisayoshi Chono (RF)|
|2||Wataru Hiyane (CF)||2||Yoshiyuki Kamei (RF)|
|3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)||3||Shinnosuke Abe (C)|
|4||Wladimir Balentien (LF)||4||Shuichi Murata (3B)|
|5||Yasushi Iihara (RF)||5||Yoshinobu Takahashi (LF)|
|6||Yuichi (Matsumoto) (1B)||6||Hayato Sakamoto (SS)|
|7||Keizo Kawashima (SS)||7||John Bowker (1B)|
|8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)||8||Takayuki Terauchi|
|9||Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)||9||Tetsuya Utsumi (P)|
The Giants started most of their regulars as a final tune up for the playoffs. If the first inning was an indication, the Giants were not ready for the playoffs. Yamada started things off with a grounder to Sakamoto that forced an ugly throw from the Giants’ pretty boy, allowing Yamada to take second. Hiyane followed with a single to put men on the corners. Utsumi looked to be in not prime playoff form as he walked Kawabata on just five pitches. Utsumi followed with a seven pitch battle with Balentien that ended with a walk. 1-0 Swallows An Iihara grounder that Sakamoto didn’t botch scored another run in exchange for an out. 2-0 Swallows Yuichi got an infield single to score yet another run for the Swallows. 3-0 Swallows somehow the Swallows managed to score 3 runs with only one ball leaving the infield.
Meanwhile on the other side of things, Yasuhiro Ogawa was looking to extend his CL leading win total to 17 and cap off a tremendous rookie season. Ogawa looked to be in on pace to accomplish that goal as he coasted through the Giants’ order the first time around. Unfortunately the perfect game/no-hitter was ruined by a Chono solo shot to open the fourth inning. 3-1 Swallows After the home run Ogawa retired the next 12 batters he saw.
The Swallows offense wasn’t able to extend their lead any further as Utsumi settled down and handed off to an effective Sugano after four innings. The score line finally moved in the bottom of the eigth inning. Ogawa gave up his second hit of the night to Takahashi to lead things off. Takahashi was replaced on the base paths by Takahiro Suzuki who promptly stole second base while Ogawa struck out Sakamoto. Bowker hit a single to score Suzuki. 3-2 Swallows Ogawa got one more out before he was replaced by Barnette. Barnette ended the inning by inducing a ground out.
After the Swallows failed again to score in the top of the ninth, the team handed the ball to rookie closer Ishiyama to close out the final game of the year. Unfortunately Ishiyama gave up back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases before Murata hit to centerfield to score two. 4-3 Giants FINAL
Sayonara everyone! The Swallows will see you next year…
After the game both teams got together to give Miyamoto, who was serving on the Swallows’ bench as a coach, a final send off. Both teams got together to launch the veteran infielder six times in the air.
On behalf of everyone here at Tsubamegun, I’d like to thank everyone who has followed all of these game reports this season. We’ll be coming out with a season retrospective podcast some time next week. We’ll also be covering offseason goings on like key signings and the draft, so please stop by from time to time. Those who want NPB playoff coverage probably need to point their browsers elsewhere.
Enjoy your offseason! See you next season!!!