Apr 9th 2014, @ Chunichi

April 9th, 2014 

Tokyo Swallows 3Chunichi Logo

Chunichi Dragons 9 

Streak: Lost 3  Last 5: WWLLL

(Nagoya Dome)

 123456789RHE
Tokyo000110001370
Chunichi00000423X9131
W: Okada (1-1; 3.75 ERA)
L: Akiyoshi (0-2; 5.73 ERA)

Your 2014 Swallows are leaking runs at an alarming rate. And these leaks are currently not being offset by any offence to speak of. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a recipe for neither winning or entertaining baseball. In the slightest.

TokyoLineupChunichi
Yamada (2B)1Ohshima (CF)
Kawabata (3B)2Araki (2B)
Milledge (LF)3Luna (3B)
Balentien (RF)4Hirata (RF)
Yuhei (CF)5Morino (1B)
Hatakeyama (1B)6Wada (LF)
Aikawa (C)7One of the Donues (SS)
Nishiura (SS)8Tanishige (C)
Akiyoshi (P)9Okada (P)

After their double play fetish from the prior evening, Tokyo’s bats eked out a lead for Aokiyoshi over the first half of this one.

This picture has no bearing on tonight's game, it's just here to make me feel better

THIS PICTURE WILL HOPEFULLY MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT SHIT…..?

In the 4th, after being held in check by Chunichi starter Okada over the first three frames, Yamada hit one along the left foul line that got past Luna and was good enough for a lead off double. Kawabata then tak-bunted the runner to third, before Milledge hit a fly ball to right, that allowed Yamada to scamper home from third, unchallenged by the frankly terrible wild throw home from Hirata in right, 1-0 Tokyo.

Then in the 5th, Yuhei walked on four straight balls to get the party started. Hatake then mistook said party for the double play party from the night before, hitting a gounder straight to Okada on the mound. Luckily for Fludge, the pitcher’s throw to second was wide of the mark, escaping into the outfield as the Swallows’ runners came to rest on the corners with no outs. Aikawa stepped up and chipped one to left, scoring Yuhei for 2-0, and leaving men on first and second with no outs on the board. Nishiura then struck out, Akiyoshi laid down a sac-bunt to move both runners into scoring positions, but alas Yamada only managed to ground out to third to end the inning and waste the chance to give Akiyoshi a little more of a cushion.

And oh how he would have dearly loved that cushion, as his lead evaporated and the game was flipped on it’s head in the 6th. Araki singled up the middle before Luna hit his own shot up the left foul line and into the corner for a double, which was good enough to allow Araki to huff and puff his way home from first for 2-1.  Luna made it to third on a ground out, and then brought the tying run home on a sac-fly from Morino, 2-2. With the Chunichi bats now getting a handle on Akiyoshi’s stuff, Wada singled to keep the pressure up, and then one of the Donoues clubbed one over the wall in left for 4-2 Chunichi.

Following that rough 6th and his 103 pitches of work, Akiyoshi would have to wait for his first career win, as Oshimoto appeared in his place in the bottom of the 7th. And things then reverted to type, as Oshimoto gave up two more runs off a walk and two hits, 6-2.

OKAY. HOW ABOUT THIS ONE...?

OKAY. HOW ABOUT THIS ONE…?

After Chunichi starter Okada sat following his seven innings, Tokyo crafted a chance to get back into the game against reliever Matayoshi in the 8th. A one-out walk for Yamada, and slightly fortunate single from Kawabata (which bounced off the glove of the pitcher and out of the path of Araki at second) put men on the corners for Milledge. Lastings struck out swinging for out number two which brought up Balentien, who couldn’t deal with Matayoshi’s fastball as his also went down swinging to end the inning.

Oshimoto was not done with the gift giving mind you, as he further raised the spirits of those inside the Nagoya Dome by allowing a two run homer from former hairy Fighter/shaved G**t/once again hairy Dragon Ogasawara, his first in a Chunichi uniform, 8-2. And the inning’s scoring wasn’t over yet as two more hits yeilded Chunichi’s final run, 9-2.

Tokyo managed a consolation run (WOOOOOOOH!!!) in the top of the 9th off Dragon’s reliever Takahashi via singles from Hatake and a Tanaka Hiroyasu cameo, but we were done with a 9-3 Chunichi Final.

Game Notage

  • Akiyoshi’s final line: 6 IP / 103 P / 7 H / 4 K / 1 BB / 4 ER. As with his debut performance, not too shabby, and his continued paucity of walks issued (1 over his 11 innings so far) is promising, and indeed his K/BB ratio of 9.0 is not to be sniffed at either.
  • Kawabata accounted for 3 of Tokyo’s 7 hits. Up until Hataka golfed a single to right in the top of the 9th, the 3-6 slots in the lineup were all hitless. Yamada and Aikawa were the only other members of the starting nine to register a hit.
  • Tomorrow will see the final game of the series with (Kozo’s favourite pitcher ever) Furuno getting the start for Tokyo.
About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto