June 4th, 2014
Orix Buffaloes 1
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWDLW
After last night’s shutout loss, friend of Tsubamegun, Andy G predicted a second consecutive shutout due to the Buffaloes’ Nishi taking the mound. Nishi did indeed pitch well but he was let down by his defense, and the Swallows played successful small ball to score enough runs to give Ishikawa an opportunity to win the game.
|W: Ishikawa (3-4)
L: Nishi (8-2)
S: Akiyoshi (2)
|1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)||1||Keiichi Hirano (2B)|
|2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)||2||Ryoichi Adachi (SS)|
|3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)||3||Esteban German (3B)|
|4||Wladimir Balentien (LF)||4||Yoshio Itoi (RF)|
|5||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)||5||Wily Mo Pena (1B)|
|6||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)||6||Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)|
|7||Ryosuke Morioka (SS)||7||Takahiro "T" Okada (LF)|
|8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)||8||Hikaru Ito (C)|
|9||Masanori Ishikawa (P)||9||Yuki Nishi (P)|
The Swallows drew first blood in the second inning. Yuhei lead off the inning with a broken bat grounder to second, that Hirano bobbled which allowed Yuhei to reach first safely. Yuhei proceeded to steal second, and advance to third on a Hatake groundout. Morioka brought him home with a fly ball deep enough for Yuhei to tag up on. Sakaguchi’s throw from center arched comically to home, and Yuhei was safe by a mile. 1-0 Swallows
Meanwhile Ishikawa was pitching better than his Orix counterpart and had held the Buffaloes hitless through two innings. Unfortunately, Ishikawa hung a curveball to T-Okada lead off the third and Okada launched the ball to the upper deck in right field. 1-1 All
Despite the mistake Ishikawa pitched effectively all night, often fooling Buffaloes batters for strikeouts and erasing his own mistakes. Ishikawa needed to be on point as Nishi was also not allowing much to the Swallows’ offense.
Nishi allowed his only extra-base hit of the night to Morioka when he gave up a double to lead off the fifth inning. The Swallows managed to advance Morioka on a Nakamura ground out to set the stage for Ishikawa. Ishikawa squeezed a bunt down the first base side and Morioka got a good enough start that Nishi wasn’t able to make the throw home. 2-1 Swallows
Ishikawa shut the door on the Buffaloes and despite allowing a one out single on in the ninth he followed with an Itoi strikeout to get to within an out of pitching a complete game win. Instead the Swallows elected to send out Akiyoshi to get the final out. Despite the puzzling decision the moved worked out as Akiyoshi got Hara to fly out to center to end the game. 2-1 Swallows FINAL
Ishikawa pitched 8.2 innings allowing one walk and five hits to go with eight strikeouts on an economical 108 pitches for the win. Nishi pitched eight innings allowing one walk and four hits to go with 4 strikeouts on 125 pitches.
The Swallows will head back to Tokyo to face the Marines at Jingu starting on Friday.