May 8th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWWWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
After last night’s fine performance by Ishikawa, the faithful had visions of their first series sweep. Unfortunately Tokuyama wasn’t able to continue the Swallows’ streak of quality starts. While the final score (sorta) looks close, this one belonged to the Carp all the way.
|W: Osera (4-1)
L: Tokuyama (0-1)
|1||Shota Dobayashi (3B)||1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|2||Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)||2||Wataru Hiyane (CF)|
|3||Yoshihiro Maru (CF)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Brad Eldred (LF)||4||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|5||Kila Ka'aihue (1B)||5||Yuhei (Takai) (CF)|
|6||Ryuhei Matsuyama (RF)||6||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|7||Shogo Kimura (SS)||7||Takahiro Araki (SS)|
|8||Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Daichi Osera (P)||9||Takeaki Tokuyama (P)|
Tokuyama had a rough start to the night after giving up two doubles sandwiched by a walk to allow two runs before the game’s 10 minute mark. 2-0 Carp Tokuyama settled down a bit and managed to pitch bend-but-not-break ball into the fifth inning.
On the other side of the ball, the Swallows offense wasn’t getting much done against the Carp rookie Daichi Osera.
The game broke open for the Carp in the fifth. Tokuyama gave up a lead off walk, and was punished with back-to-back home by Maru and Eldred. 5-0 Carp Eldred’s homerun was his 11th of the season finally catching him up to Balentien’s CL-leading total. The homeruns ended Tokuyama’s night and the Swallows handed off to Shichijo. Shichijo didn’t fare much better as he immediately gave up a double to Ka’aihue and a pair of walks with a sac bunt in between to load the bases. Dobayashi made Shichijo pay with a single that scored two runs thanks in part to a lazy looking throw home by Yuhei. 7-0 Swallows
Osera was in control through five innings, but had a rookie wobble in the sixth inning. In a six pitch sequence over four batters, Osera allowed a first-pitch leadoff double to Hiyane, a first-pitch double to Kawabata to score a run, a first-pitch homer to Balentien, and a three pitch homer to Yuhei. Just like that, the Swallows found themselves down by only three runs. 7-4 Carp Osera got Hatake to strikeout to end the run of hits, but gave up a hard-fought single to Araki before he was yanked for the night. Nagakawa, Osera’s replacement, managed to get Nakamura to strikeout while Araki stole second. However, Yuichi managed to double to right to score another run. 7-5 Carp The Swallows managed to get runners on the corners via an error, but Hiyane couldn’t push the scoreline any further.
The Swallows bullpen managed to keep the score 7-5 through eight innings despite allowing multiple runners in every inning. Unfortunately the floodgates finally opened again for the Carp in the ninth against Abe. Abe had managed to get the final out in the eighth inning after Kyuko put two runners on, but Abe wasn’t able to get much done in the ninth. In an ugly sequence of pitching, Abe managed to give up two walks and four hits which all came around to score. 13-5 Carp
After being forced to use their premium relievers through the eighth inning, the Carp took their foot off the gas and sent out Kawauchi to mop up in the ninth inning. With two outs Kawauchi hit Ueda and Kawabata made him pay by hitting a homer into right to make the scoreline look a bit more respectable. Balentien followed up with a bloop single but Iihara ended the game on a bloop that Kimura managed to make a nice play on. 13-7 Carp FINAL
- Balentien’s homer was his first since he hit two on April 20. The homerun put him in sole possession of the CL lead after Eldred caught up with him earlier in the game. The homer was a high wind-aided shot that barely cleared the fence.
- Yuhei’s homer was his fourth in as many games and puts him at 6 for the season.
- Kawabata went 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
- The Swallows pitching staff gave up a combined 9 walks and 2 dead balls. On the other hand, the Carp gave up one walk and one dead ball. See the difference?
- The Swallows will travel down to Yokohama for the weekend in a bid to stay out of the CL cellar. The first match will feature Kiya for the Swallows and Inou for the BayStars.