July 26th & 27th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 2 (1+1)
Streak: Lost 5 Last 5: LLLLL
Last 10 vs. Yokohama: WLLLLLLLLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
It was an utterly depressing weekend to be a Swallows fan. The heat at Jingu was oppressive and the baseball transitioned from bad to abysmal. Rather than subject Swallows fans to two saddening reports we’re combining this weekend’s games into one long report since it felt like one long endless string of futility with a long break in the middle.
W: Moscoso (6-6) & Miura (2-4)
L: Ishikawa (6-7) & Ogawa (4-3)
|1||Takayuki Kajitani (CF)|
Sho Aranami (CF)
|1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|2||Takehiro Ishikawa (2B)||2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)|
|3||Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (LF)|
Takayuki Kajitani (RF)
|3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Tony Blanco (1B)||4||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|5||Taketoshi Goto (3B)|
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (LF)
|5||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)|
|6||Hitoshi Tamura (RF)|
Aarom Balderis (3B)
|6||Ryosuke Morioka (SS)|
|7||Toshiki Kurobane (C)||7||Yuichi (Matsumoto) (1B)|
|8||Noriharu Yamazaki (SS)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Guillermo Moscoso (P)|
Daisuke Miura (P)
|9||Masanori Ishikawa (P)
Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)
The first half of the marathon looked good for the Swallows. Ishikawa pitched two perfect innings and Moscoso had allowed multiple runners in each of his first two innings. Unfortunately the Swallows weren’t able to get the key hit to bring anyone around.
Ishikawa allowed his first runner of the game in the third when he walked Kurobane to start the inning. The BayStars elected to have their #8 man (Yamazaki) BUNT to give Moscoso a chance to score the runner. The plan might not be as crazy as it looked as Swallows fans may remember, Moscoso was the pitcher who homered against us two weeks ago. Yokohama’s crazy plan basically worked as Moscoso grounded a hit to left to put men on the corners. After striking out Kajitani, Ishikawa gave up a single to Ishikawa (so meta) for the first run. 1-0 BayStars It looked like Ishikawa got Tsutsugo to fly out to left, but Balentien misjudged the fly and allowed the ball to drop in front of him. One man scored easily but Balentien’s throw forced Ishikawa to make a wide slide that the ump determined did not touch the plate. The slide lead to an awkward moment of Ishikawa, Nakamura, and the ump staring at each other trying to figure out whether Ishikawa was out or safe. The ump eventually signaled the out. 2-0 BayStars
The Swallows continued to put more pressure on Moscoso in the third, getting two men on via back-to-back hits but the Venezuelan kept the Swallows from getting the kill shot.
The BayStars got another run in the fourth after Balentien misjudged a low falling liner by Goto and got hit in the gut. The error allowed Goto to take two bases, and Tamura followed with a double to center for another run. 3-0 BayStars
The Swallows continued to pressure Moscoso getting multiple runners in the fourth and fifth but scored no runs. The Stars handed the ball to Mantani for the sixth. Ishikawa outlasted Moscoso by pitching no-run ball in the fifth and sixth, but was taken out for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the sixth.
The Swallows handed the ball to Chris Carpenter and shit got ugly. Kurobane lead off the inning with a single. Yamazaki gifted the Swallows a out by striking out while attempting to bunt Kurobane to second. Balderis came up to bat and Carpenter hung something down the pipe and Balderis hit a no-doubter into left. 5-0 BayStars It was Carpenter’s third home run allowed in as many games. The nightmare didn’t end for Carpenter as the Swallows made no move in the bullpen and let the American pitch through. Carpenter proceeded to walk Kajitani, although Nakamura was able to quickly gun him down attempting to steal second for the second out of the inning. Ishikawa followed with a single up the middle, followed by a successful steal attempt and was brought home on a Tsutsugo single to left. 6-0 BayStars
The Swallows finally managed to get a run scoring hit after putting multiple men on in the bottom of the seventh. Yachi hit a grounder to right that was just hard enough to get under a diving Blanco to score Iihara from second. 6-1 BayStars Unfortunately no more hits followed and it was the only run for the Swallows in the first half.
Yamanaka came in to pitch the eighth and gave up a lead off homer to Yanagida, but got the rest of his batters out with relative ease. 7-1 BayStars
The Swallows offense got nothing going against the BayStars bullpen relay, and the BayStars got some runners on Kyuko in the ninth but the first half of the weekend ended with the BayStars up 7-1.
The BayStars brought out old man Miura up to start the second half against the Swallows while the Swallows countered with Ogawa.
The BayStars got to Ogawa right away with four hits and a HBP good for three runs. 10-1 BayStars
The Swallows offense made Miura and his junk balls look good as they kept getting weak hits and ground outs.
Mean while despite allowing runners to reach scoring position in the eleventh and twelfth innings of the weekend, Ogawa valiantly kept the BayStars from scoring. Things finally broke in the thirteenth after Miura lined a single to right to start the inning and Aranami hit a first picth homer to right. 12-1 BayStars After retiring the rest of the BayStars to end the inning, the Swallows pulled Ogawa and sent out Akagawa.
Akagawa pitched a shaky but clean fourteenth, but gave up two runs in the fifteenth including a Blanco solo shot. 14-1 BayStars
The Swallows finally got to Miura in the sixteenth inning, when Yamada bombed a two out offering to left center. 14-2 BayStars
The Swallows entrusted Abe, who was called up in between halves, with the last two innings. Abe pitched the only hitless inning in the second half for the Swallows in the seventeenth. But the BayStars smacked him around in the final frame, which culminated with a two-out three-run homer by Goto. 17-2 BayStars
After throwing 148 pitches through eight innings, the BayStars pulled Miura and gave Hirata the ball for the final out. Hirata made short work of the bottom of the Swallows to cap off the eighteen inning nightmare that was the Swallows-BayStars weekend. 14-2 BayStars FINAL That was seven hours and twenty-six hours of our lives that we won’t get back.