July 14th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 12
Yomiuri Giants 1
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLLLW
After getting swept by the BayStars at home for the first time in 14 years, your birds were clearly a little upset. And they decided to take their frustrations out on local bully, Yomiuri.
|W: Ishikawa (6-6; 4.76 ERA)
L: Utsumi (1-6; 3.52)
Funnily enough, the last time Yomiuri hosted the cross-town rivalry exactly two months ago, Tokyo was trying to break a long losing streak. Just like last time, it seems that they’ve come out firing on all cylinders.
|Yamada (2B)||1||Sakamoto (SS)|
|Kawabata (3B)||2||Kataoka (2B)|
|Balentien (LF)||3||Chono (RF)|
|Yuhei (RF)||4||Murata (3B)|
|Iihara (CF)||5||Abe (C)|
|Noguchi (1B)||6||Lopez (1B)|
|Nakamura (C)||7||Anderson (LF)|
|Kawashima (SS)||8||Hashimoto (CF)|
|Ishikawa (P)||9||Utsumi (P)|
This game was a joy to watch. Ishikawa dominated in this contest, and he got plenty of run support.
Yomiuri scored its one and only run in the second when Hashimoto came through with a bases loaded sac fly. But that was the end of the fun for the home fans. In fact, they managed only two more base runners over the next seven innings.
0-1 Bad guys
Tokyo revved the engine and leveled the game with no outs in the top of the third. Gomiuri starter, Utsumi, got Yamada to take a couple of called strikes on the inside corner of the plate before the latter started to swat junk away from the zone. The 2-2 pitch was an outside slider that Yamada lifted into the left field stands. Number 13 of the season for Tokyo’s revelation at second base.
You can hear us gush about Yamada in the most recent edition of our podcast which just hit the airwaves this evening. By the end of this report you will agree that he deserves every bit of that praise and a whole lot more.
In the fourth, Noguchi, Nakamura, and Kawashima hit back-to-back-to-back one out singles with Kawashima’s poke into right pushing Tokyo into the lead when Noguchi crossed home plate. One out and a walk later, Kawabata added another run with a single up the middle.
And that was it for Utsumi. Tsuchida finished out the fourth and retook the mound in the fifth. He surrendered a lead-off hit to Yuhei who sliced an outside slider to the opposite field. He was then Tak-bunted over by Iihara, and he would score one out later on Nakamura’s 2-0 punch to center (hanging forkball). Hara then called for an intentional walk on Kawashima to get to Ishikawa, but it didn’t work. Tokyo’s starting pitcher bounced one up the middle to load the bases Yamada. He laid off the forkballs in the dirt and worked the count full before collecting his second RBI of the evening on his second walk in as many at-bats.
In the sixth, with Kasahara now on the mound for Yomiuri, Balentien led off with a double to the wall in left and was promptly replaced on the base paths by Ueda. Ueda advanced on Yuhei’s ground out to second, and then Iihara walked to occupy the other corner. Iwamura, pinch-hitting for Noguchi, brought Ueda home on a single to right.
Kasahara came out again for the top of the seventh, and Kawashima welcomed him back with a double on his 1-0 “fastball” right down the middle. Ishikawa sacrificed to move Keizo over to third, and then Yamada collected his third RBI on a single to right. One out later, Yamada scored from second on Ueda’s single to center.
Mystically, Tokyo didn’t score in the eighth inning. That goose egg must have really pissed them off because they went a bit nuts in the top of the ninth.
Imamura came back out to continue the mop-up duty he began at the end of the seventh, and he started by plunking Kawashima with his second pitch of the frame. One out later, Yamada collected his third hit of the night with a double to left which put two runners in scoring position. Kawabata responded with a come-backer that deflected off of Imamura’s glove and left everyone safe (including Kawashima at home).
Ueda added a second RBI single to his tally five pitches later (Yamada scored from third), and Yuhei and Iihara followed with consecutive RBI doubles to compound the joy.
Ishikawa got the win after going eight solid innings (107 pitches). He allowed one earned run off of five hits while mixing in a walk and five strikeouts. His ERA hopped to 4.76 while his record leveled out at 6-6.
Kiya (5.72) pitched the ninth and retired the side on eight pitches.
On offense, there was plenty to be pleased with.
Yamada was the clear standout with a 3-4 (HR, 1B, 2B) night at the plate, three RBI, and two walks.
Kawabata and Ueda had two hits each with a pair of RBI to match.
Yuhei, Iihara, Nakamura, and Kawashima all added a pair of base hits and an RBI each.
Kawashima, hitting in the eight hole, deserves a solid pat on the back for reaching base five times (BB, RBI 1B, IBB, 2B, HBP)!
All told, your birds outhit Yomiuri 19-5.
May this joy continue unabated for the rest of the season!
Game two of the series is tomorrow night starting at 6:30 PM.
Ishiyama (1-4; 5.68 ERA) will take the mound for the birds against Yomiuri’s Koyama (3-0; 1.60 ERA).