Apr 20th 2014, @ Hanshin

April 20th, 2014

Hanshin Tigers 8

Tokyo Swallows 7

Streak: Lost 5 Last 5: LLLLL

(Koshien Stadium)

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W: Iwata (1-0; 3.60 ERA)
L: Kiya (1-1; 5.40)
S: Oh (1-0 5S; 2.70)

There were four home runs hit in this contest, all of them by the Tokyo Swallows, and yet your birds came up just a wee bit shy in dropping their fifth straight.

TokyoOrderHanshin
Yamada (2B)1Uemoto (2B)
Ueda (CF)2Yamato (CF)
Kawabata (3B)3Toritani (SS)
Balentien (LF)4Gomez (1B)
Yuhei (RF)5Murton (LF)
Hatakeyama (1B)6Imanari (3B)
Aikawa (C)7Umeno (C)
Imanami (SS)8Tagami (RF)
Kiya (P)9Iwata (P)

Kiya was unable to put together another convincing start like his first performance last weekend. He was yanked with two runners on and an out to go in the bottom of the fifth.

Tokyo was actually leading this game after the first four innings which was before the Tokyo offense started putting its collective back into it. A combination of ground outs and suspect fielding meant that the birds were ahead 3-2 heading into the top of the fifth.

Round-tripper number one came on Balentien’s solo shot with one out that just barely cleared the wall in left-center.

4-2 Tokyo

But Hanshin seized the lead and control of the game in the bottom of that frame when Gomes hit a double with the bases loaded.

Tanaka, of all people, had a pinch-hit HR tonite.

Tanaka, of all people, had a pinch-hit HR tonite.

4-5 Hanshin

Ishiyama relieved Kiya for the final out in the fourth, but he gave up another three earned runs after safely securing the first two red lamps in the sixth.

4-8 Hanshin

Your Swallows attempted a comeback via the long ball after that. Balentien hit his second solo shot of the game (number 11 of the season) with two outs in the seventh, and then Beavis Tanaka (pinch-hitting for Ishiyama) did something wacky and hit one over the fence in left for a little back-to-back action.

6-8 Hanshin

And then with one out in the eighth, Iihara (of all people) copied Tanaka with his own first homer of the season on a full-count Fukuhara heater.

7-8 Hanshin

But that’s where the game would essentially end as Hanshin’s new closer, Oh, finalized things with a nine-pitch perfect ninth.

GAME NOTES:

Aikawa had three at-bats tonight that occurred with two outs on the board. He recorded the final out all three times, standing three runners in the process.

Hatakeyama was three for three at the plate with two doubles and a walk. However, he neither scored a run nor drove one in.

The Swallows are currently in fifth place with a one game lead over the BayStars in sixth. Tokyo has the worst team ERA in the Central at 5.95.

Your birds have six home games in a row to try and resuscitate their season before the Interleague schedule kicks in next month and rips the Central league a new one. League-leading Hiroshima come to town first for the Tuesday-Thursday series. Chunichi will be the weekend foe.

And there goes another one.

And there goes another one.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • I saw this one on TV. The fact that Gomez dude hit two doubles and landed five RBIs for Hanshin in the process, while Balentien hit two homers and only got two RBIs for us out of that speaks to the underlying problems here, both on offense and defense.

    • Kozo

      I don’t think we have huge issues on offense. The guys hitting in front of Balentien all have .380+ OBPs and the offense manage to score 7 runs even when those guys had an off game. It’s nice to see that our offense isn’t entirely dependent on Coco, and that it can score runs without him.
      Ultimately I think it comes down to pitching (not sure if you include that in defense) which gave up those doubles to Gomez and put the runners in front of him. The room for improvement in that area is much greater than any problems on offense.

      • Maybe the offense is doing better than I’m giving it credit for. I definitely agree that the main issue is pitching.