May 26th, 2014
Tohoko Golden Eagles 1
Tokyo Swallows 4
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Furuno (3-2; 4.33 ERA)
L: Kawai (1-2; 2.74)
S: Akiyoshi (1-3 1S; 3.30)
Excellent pitching, both starting and relief, and some timely hitting led to an efficient win over the Eagles to give the Swallows their second win of INTERJOYLEAGUE 2014.
|Okajima (RF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Fujita (2B)||2||Hiyane (CF)|
|Nishida (SS)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Jones (DH)||4||Balentien (DH)|
|Makida (LF)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|Bowker (1B)||6||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Matsui (3B)||7||Araki (SS)|
|Hijirisawa (CF)||9||Iihara (LF)|
In the 1st, Hiyane was the first Swallow aboad for the evening with a one-out single. Kawabata then hit a fly ball to the wall just left of centre, and the swirling winds in Jingu made sure no outfielder could get a glove to it, Kawabata had himself an RBI double with Hiyane racing home from first for 1-0 Tokyo. After Balentien had grounded out for out number two, Yuhei worked a free pass to first, before Hatake hit another troublesome fly ball, this one landing between the centre and right fielders with Kawabata scoring to make it 2-0, after which Yuhei overran third in all the excitement, and was picked off to end the inning.
With that early lead, Furuno didn’t allow a hit until the 5th inning, an inning in which he gave up three, but thanks to a double play and an excellent running catch from Ihara in left, he managed to maintain the two run lead.
But he couldn’t prevent the lead from being sliced in half in the 7th, as a solo homer to straight away centre from Bowker made it 2-1.
Tokyo bounced back in the bottom of the inning, as the rain intensified over Jingu. Hatake hit one to the wall in right that a jumping Okajima couldn’t quite snag, and the big man had himself a lead-off triple. Araki then hit a shallow fly to first for out number one, before Nakamura walked to put men on the corners. Rakuten’s veteran starter Kawai was then yanked for Fukuyama, but the change was in vain, as back-to-back singles to right (the first through the infield, the second over it) from the pinch-hitting Morioka and Yamada added a run apeice for an altogether more comfortable 4-1 scoreline. Hiyane then hit another shallow fly for out number two, and Nishimiya was the second reliever out of the Eagles pen to face Kawabata. The rookie pitcher walked Shingo on four straight pitches to load the bases, which brought up Coco with the chance to blow open the game, but after taking some big cuts chasing fastballs early, Balentien could only ground out to short to end the inning.
But that three run lead would ultimately be enough as the young arms in the Tokyo bullpen came in to bring it home for Furuno. In the 8th, rookie Iwahashi managed to work a hitless frame on nine pitches despite an error from Yamada and some slightly dodgy fielding from Keizo Kawashima. While in the 9th, Akiyoshi made light work of his three men on just seven pitches, the game ending with an excellent sliding catch from Yamada for a 4-1 Tokyo Final.
- Furuno’s final line: 7 IP / 108 P / 4 H / 5 K / 2 BB / 1 ER. He was excellent in the blustery conditions, truly ready to Rhumble.
- With Roman off the active roster with a sore elbow, this was Akiyoshi’s first career save. And, bless him, was he nervous in the post-game hero interview. No need for nerves though, as he’s having a pretty good rookie year, with tonight’s performance chopping his ERA down to a highly respectable 3.30.
- Rakuten’s manager Senichi Hoshino was unable to be present at tonight’s game as he was suffering from lower back pain. Pitching coach Yoshinori Satoh (no not that one) took over in his absence.
- Tonight’s win takes the Swallows’ INTERJOYLEAGUE 2014 record to 2-4.
- The Swallows will get a day off tomorrow before Hokkaido and their (ham) Fighters come to town for two games from Wednesday.