August 19th, 2014
Tokyo Swallows 4
Streak: LWLLL Last 5: Lost 3
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Some Canadian Chunt
L: Kyuko (1-3; 6.56)
This was a pretty pleasurable game of baseball until the 9th inning, after which it turned into Tokyo’s patented brand of SWALLOWS TERROR THEATRE as they lost their 60th of 2014.
|Ch*no (CF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Hashimoto (RF)||2||Yachi (SS)|
|Sakamoto (SS)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Abe (1B)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|Murata (3B)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|Ibata (2B)||6||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Yano (LF)||7||Ihara (CF)|
|Kobayashi (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|Sugiuchi (P)||9||Muranaka (P)|
All the offence in the first half of this one came through solo homers in the 2nd, Murata in the top, and Coco’s 27th of the year in the bottom, 1-1.
Muranaka looked solid enough, giving up five hits in his six innings of work. He was hit in the lower right leg by a come-backer from the piggy overlord in the 6th, and left the game briefly for treatment, but he managed to pitch out the inning with the scores still tied.
Matsuoka came in to work the top of the 7th, a pitching change which may or may not have been connected to Muranaka’s leg, but either way, a walk, a couple of steals and timely singles put the opposition ahead by two, 3-1 Orange Shitbags.
After Sugiuchi had allowed just two hits over the first six innings, now armed with a two run lead he started to wobble in the bottom of the 7th. Back-to-back singles from Kawabata and Balentien, and a ground ball to second for Hatake put men on the corners with one out. Hara rather harshly replaced Sugiuchi with Kubo, and Hatake rewarded that idiocy by dispatching the reliever’s third pitch into the right field bleachers and it was 4-3 Tokyo.
And so to the top of the 9th, with Tony Barnette on the mound to try to shut this one down in what would have been a bright and breezy three hours or so. Kataoka struck out swinging for out number one, Lopez singled to left and was replaced by the nimble Ohta at first. Perpetual irritant Takahashi then struck out looking for out number two, which brought up Ch*no, who hit a rather lucky bouncer up the left field line, over the head of Kawabata, and to Balentien in left. The relay throw may well have beat Ohta home, but it was a little wide of the mark, and the tying run scored for 4-4. Hashimoto then singled to make things really hairy, but Sakamoto struck out send this one to the bottom of the 9th.
In that half frame, the knuckle dragging Canadian member of the opposition’s bullpen started off facing a clearly overly pumped up Coco (more on this later), and matters were not helped by the poster boy for inbreeding throwing high and inside, and then smirking to himself on the mound afterwards. My what a big tough boy you are. Coco would end up grounding out to short, and while Hatake would manage a single, two more Swallows went down to send this one to extras.
Cue lashings of Deja Vu as the slow motion car crash of an extra innings culminated after over an hour of creeping inevitability with an 11th inning two run homer from the lord of the swine off Kyuko. 6-4 JAPAN’S TEAM.
- Muranaka’s final line: 6 IP / 91 P / 5 H / 2 K / 1 BB / 1 ER. Decent, and wasn’t involved in the final decision as his ERA dropped to 3.06.
- After Matsuoka relieved Muranaka, Akiyoshi worked a superb perfect two strikeout 8th. And in extras, Nakazawa toiled to get two outs on 29 pitches before being replaced with two men in scoring positions with Kiya, who walked a man to load the bases for yet another Takahashi cameo. Kyuko came in to get him to ground out to second to end the inning.
- Yamada went hitless hit 0 for 5 making it the first time in a very long time he hasn’t managed a hit (16 games).
- Coco’s 2nd inning home run was his 149th NPB long ball.
- In the 9th inning there seemed to be all sorts of goings on occurring on the Swallows bench. Following the top of the 9th, the TV cameras cut briefly to what appeared to be several guys, amongst them Hiroyasu Tanaka, holding back Balentien for some reason. And after Coco had grounded out in the bottom of the frame, he threw his helmet at a seat after returning to the dug out, and there then seemed to be some kind of altercation between him and Barnette as Balentien went out back. The two were later pictured sitting together on the bench, so we’ll put this one down to emotions running high in the heat of battle.
- Tomorrow will see another episode of Swallows Terror Theatre, with Chris Narveson taking the mound for the birds.