May 14th 2014, @ Yomiuri

May 14th, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 10FYG

Yomiuri Giants 3

Streak: Won 3    Last 5: LLLWW

(Hitachinaka Municipal Baseball Stadium)

After a slightly bumpy start Ishikawa and the Swallows cruised to a drubbing of the Giants in Ibaraki. The Swallows offense feasted on a bevy of young Giants pitchers while Ishikawa pitched smoothly. It seemed like the Swallows offense was perpetually at bat.

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W: Ishikawa (2-3)
L: Imamura (1-1)

 Swallows Giants
1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)1Hayato Sakamoto (SS)
2Wataru Hiyane (CF)2Yasuyuki Kataoka (2B)
3Shingo Kawabata (3B)3Hisayoshi Ch*no (RF)
4Wladimir Balentien (LF)4Shuichi Murata (3B)
5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)5Kenji Yano (LF)
6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)6José Lopez (1B)
7Takahiro Araki (SS)7Tetsuya Matsumoto (CF)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Seiji Kobayashi (C)
9Masanori Ishikawa (P)9Nobutaka Imamura (P)

Ishikawa was pitching for the first time since his complete game shutout against the Carp. After starting the game with a Sakamoto strikeout, Ishikawa gave up a solo shot to Kataoka. There was some worry that the bad Ishikawa had returned as Murata also got a hit in the inning but Ishikawa got out of the inning unscathed. Ishikawa followed the first inning with six no-hit innings giving up just one hit batsman. 1-0 Giants

Meanwhile the Swallows offense seemed to have a good read on the Giants Imamura who stuggled all night to throw strikes. The Swallows loaded the bases on two hits and two walks in the first frame but a failed steal attempt kept the Swallows off the board.

The Swallows also got a runner in scoring position in the second, but failed to score. But Imamura cracked in the third inning. Hiyane lead off the inning with a single, and Kawabata drew a walk to put two men on. Balentien struck out and it looked like Yuhei was going to ground into a double play, but Sakamoto fluffed the ball and allowed Yuhei to reach base to score a run and put men on the corners. 1-1 All Hatake followed with a sac fly to take the lead for the Swallows 2-1 Swallows

The back-breaker came in the next inning. Nakamura and Yamada both got hits to sandwich a Ishikawa bunt to put men on the corners. Hiyane attempted a squeeze that failed and Yamada was caught dead to rights on the basepaths. Imamura loaded the bases by walking Kawabata and the stage was set for Balentien. After getting Coco to strikeout on an inside fastball the previous inning, the young pitcher attempted the same thing but this time he was punished severely. Coco got his third homerun in as many nights and his first grandslam of the season. 6-1 Swallows Needless to say Imamura’s night ended there.

The Swallows couldn’t get any runs off of Kasahara but did get back-to-back singles to lead off the fifth inning off of him. Kasahara made way for Takagi in the sixth inning and Takagi gave up a walk to Kawabata and a hit to Yuhei to put two men on for Hatake. After launching a monster foul that had shades of last night’s “homerun” (this one was also definitely foul), Hatake followed with a deep double to right to score both runners. 8-1 Swallows

Takagi struck out the side in the following inning. The next pitcher up for the Giants was Katsuki in the eighth inning. After two outs to start the inning, Katsuki gave up a first pitch single to Balentien, and Yuhei followed soon after with a double to right to score yet another run. 9-1 Swallows

Ishikawa’s string of hitless ball halted abruptly in the eighth as he gave up back-to-back-to-back singles to score a run to start the inning. The Giants kept the pressure up with a double steal, but Ishikawa stopped the bleeding aided by a timely line out double play to end the inning. 9-2 Swallows

The final Giants’ victim of the night was Tsuchida who was making his first team debut after spending the last two seasons with the Giants on an ikusei contract. Tsuchida gave up a hit to Araki and a walk to Nakamura. Iihara came in and got his 7th pinch hit (in 12 at bats) of the season to score the final Swallows run of the night. 10-2 Swallows

Abe came in to mop up and gave up a bunch of hits but only one run to end the night. 10-3 Swallows FINAL

Game Notes

  • Every starter except Ishikawa got at least one hit tonight. Of those starters everyone but Yamada had a multi-hit night.
  • Of the 9 Swallows RBIs, Balentien and Hatake combined for 7 of them.
  • Isikawa pitched 8 innings on 110 pitches with 5 hits allowed, one HBP, and 2 Ks. Neither Ishikawa nor Abe gave up an extra-base hit.
  • The Swallows will be looking to get the sweep tomorrow night at the Tokyo Dome. The Swallows will send  Kiya out to the mound, while the Giants will start Kan Otake.
  • The BayStars lost tonight, giving the Swallows a slight edge in winning percentage taking them out of the CL cellar. The Swallows stand three games behind the fourth place Dragons.
Let's keep smiling!

Let’s keep smiling!

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.