April 15th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 8
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LWLWW
(Shizuoka Kusanagi Stadium)
|W: Yamamoto (1-1; 3.52 ERA)
L: Seddon (1-1; 2.35)
Your mean old Swallows played the role of the big bad baddie today, as they disappointed a stadium full of mostly Giants fans in Shizuoka by beating Yomiuri in Tokyo’s first *COUGH* “home away from home” *COUGH* game of the season. And for the record, Shizuokans have always been known for their shitty taste*.
* quite possibly.
|Sakamoto (SS)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Kataoka (2B)||2||Ueda (CF)|
|Anderson (LF)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Murata (3B)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|Ch*no (RF)||5||Ihara (RF)|
|Lopez (1B)||6||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Hashimoto (CF)||7||Aikawa (C)|
|Sanematsu (C)||8||Nishiura (SS)|
|Seddon (P)||9||Narveson (P)|
Tonight’s pitching match-up saw two foreign imports coming off contrasting first starts in Japan: Good-Chris (Narveson) for the good guys, and Evil-Chris (Seddon) for the soulless minions.
Tokyo took the lead against an initially wobbly Seddon in the bottom of the 1st. Yamada worked a walk to start, with an Ueda Tak-bunt moving him to second. Kawabata then singled to put men on the corners, before Balentien hit the first pitch he saw to left, and we had a 1-0 Tokyo scoreline with men on first and second. A fly ball to right from Ihara brought up out number two as well as moving Kawabata over to third, setting the stage for Hatakeyama to hit a line drive to right to plate the second run of the evening , 2-0.
After looking comfortable over the first two innings, Good-Chris had a wobble of his own in the top of the 3rd. Following his third and fourth strikeouts which got the inning off to a good start, he walked both Sakamoto (on 12 pitches) and Kataoka (on 4). He then got behind 3 and 0 against Anderson, but got the outfielder to ground out to second to strand the runners with his lead intact.
Unfortunately for Tokyo, Narveson’s wobble was of the prolonged variety, as he surrendered the lead in the top of the 4th. Back-to-back-to-back singles made it 2-1, then a sac-bunt moved both runners in to scoring positions for a wild pitch which scored the tying run for 2-2. Just like it looked like the wheels may be falling off, Good-Chris held himself together somewhat, getting a infield fly out and strikeout to escape the inning with the go-ahead runner marooned at third.
Alas, after throwing a whopping 104 pitches to huff and puff his way through the first five innings, Narveson finally fell behind in the 6th, as a one-out solo shot to right from Lopez made it 3-2 Yomiuri.
That would be all for Narveson, as the recently initiated starter to reliever conversion project, rookie Akiyoshi, came in from the ‘pen for the first time to pitch a 1-2-3 7th.
But just as it looked like Evil-Chris was settling in to earn his second win in as many starts (and thus inflicting the opposite fate on Good-Chris), things went awry for the orange team in the bottom of the 7th as Tokyo tied things up once more. After putting up two red lights on the scoreboard, Seddon walked Aikawa on four straight pitches. Nishiura then stepped to the plate, hitting one to right that fell just in front of Ch*no, who couldn’t get a handle on the ball, allowing Aikawa to somehow make it home from first for 3-3. After a pinch hitting Tanaka singled up the middle to put men on the corners, that was all for Evil-Chris, as he got the hook with Mathieson appearing in his place. And the reliever did his job, getting Yamada to hit a harmless shallow fly ball to end the inning with the scores tied.
After Yamamoto allowed a walk and no hits in the top of the 8th, the Swallows were again tasked with trying to solve the Mathieson problem in the bottom of the inning. Luckily, Scott was feeling generous with the solutions, as he allowed two walks, sandwiching a Kawabata Tak-bunt. Ihara poked one through the infield in right to load the bases, which was all the invitation Mathieson needed to walk Hatakeyama to bring home the go-ahead run, 4-3 Tokyo.
That was that for the Canadian, with Katsuki taking his place to face Aikawa. The switch made little difference however, as the catcher chipped one to left to single home two runs for 6-3. After the runners advanced into scoring positions on a Nishimura ground out, another pitching switch (Takagi in) ended up leading to yet more Tokyo runs, as Yuichi connected with a pinch-hit double to extend the lead to 8-3.
All that was left was for Ishiyama to set pulses racing by allowing a run off two hits in the top of the 9th, but he buckled down to shut this one down for an 8-4 Tokyo Final.
- Narveson’s final line: 6 IP / 116 P / 5 H / 7 K / 3 BB / 3 ER. He wasn’t involved in the final decision with his record staying at 1-0, and his ERA now at 6.00.
- Tokyo lead the season series against their cross-town neighbours 1-0.
- Those neighbours have now lost four straight.
- Isn’t that lovely? I mean, really lovely?
- Shizuokans obviously don’t think that is lovely though, but screw them. SCREW THEM ALL!
- The two teams will return to Jingu tomorrow evening, and Tokyo will witness the return of the prodigal starter Ryousuke Yagi, from his bullpen exile hell.