July 8th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LLLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Akiyoshi (2-3; 3.00 ERA)
L: Asao (1-1)
S: Barnette (2S; 3.68)
A 7th inning timely two-run Hiyane double combined with a watertight four innings from the bullpen helped Tokyo on it’s way to an impressive comeback victory against Chunichi.
|Oshima (CF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Tani (2B)||2||Hiyane (CF)|
|Hernandez (SS)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Luna (3B)||4||Yuhei (RF)|
|Morino (1B)||5||Morioka (SS)|
|Wada (LF)||6||Iwamura (1B)|
|Matsui (RF)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|Tanishige (C)||8||Takeuchi (LF)|
|Yoshimi (P)||9||Ishikawa (P)|
Tokyo were up against a man who has had their number many times in the past, as Chunichi ace Yoshimi took the mound for is first start of the year following a lengthy layoff with injury. And he recieved a rude welcome back gift from Yamada, who dispatched his second pitch into the left field stands for 1-0 Tokyo.
Ishikawa meanwhile, let a steady stream of men on early, allowing two hits in the 1st, and three in the 2nd, but he always escaped with the lead intact. Until the 3rd inning that was, whereupon after letting another two men on (the first was via a Morioka error to be fair to Masanori) Wada finally dealt out the punishment that had always seemed likely, hitting a three run shot deep to left to turn the tables for a 3-1 Chunichi lead.
The Swallows continued their scoring theme for the evening in the bottom of the 3rd, as Takeuchi hit another solo shot off Yoshimi to tighten things up at 3-2.
After posting up what would be his only hitless inning in the 4th, Ishikawa worked a rather undignified final frame for the evening in the 5th. A single and three walks, the last of which, unforgivably, was to Yoshimi, extended the Dragons’ lead to 4-2.
But the Swallows were not dead yet, as in the bottom of the 5th, Yoshimi surrendered his third solo home run of the evening, this time another for Yamada (no.12 for the year) and they were back to within a run, 4-3.
And so we reached that 7th inning, facing another Dragon who has punished the Swallows many times before, pre-pubescent reliever Asao. A walk for Takeuchi and a third hit of the evening for Yamada (this time a mere single) put men on first and second for that man Hiyane, and he hit the aforementioned double to the wall in left to bring home both the tying and go-ahead runs for 5-4 Tokyo.
After Akiyoshi had worked two innings of one-hit baseball, all that was left was for Chris Carpenter and the back and looking very much ready to roll Tony Barnette to shut the door with an inning each in relief and we had ourselves a particularly satisfying 5-4 Tokyo Final.
- Masanori’s final line: 5 IP / 107 P / 9 H / 2 K / 3 BB / 4 R / 3 ER. I’ll be kind and just say that it was certainly better than last week’s ten run shocker. Could have been a lot worse that’s for sure. A lot.
- Kawabata took a nasty looking pitch just above his right elbow in the 6th. He stayed in the game for another at bat in the 7th (ground out to second) but was later replaced on defence. Hopefully he’s fine and this is the last you’ll hear of it.
- I’m liking the bullpen more and more as the season progresses and the pieces start to fall into place. I really feel we’re a stretch of starting pitching consistency away from making a run. Ogawa’s return later this week should help a tad with that.
- Tomorrow will see Ishiyama take the mound to try and build on his impressive debut start from last week. Wish him luck!