Aug 21st 2014, vs Yomiuri

August 21st, 2014

FYGYomiuri Giants 6

Tokyo Swallows 5

Streak: LLLWL  Last 5: Lost 1

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Just as a change of pace I’ve written tonight’s game report in the style of a emo teenager.

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W: Mathieson (6-3)
L: Emura (0-1)

 Giants Swallows
1Hisayoshi Ch*no (RF)1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
2Itaru Hashimoto (CF)2Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)
3Hayato Sakamoto (SS)3Shingo Kawabata (3B)
4Shinnosuke Abe (1B)4Wladimir Balentien (LF)
5Shuichi Murata (3B)5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
6Hirokazu Ibata (2B)6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
7Taishi Ota (LF)7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)
8Kazunari Sanematsu (C)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Hirokazu Sawamura (P)9Masanori Ishikawa (P)

There is a profound emptiness that one feels sitting in a windless Jingu Stadium at 21:30 in mid-August. In the oppressive heat the memories of an early 1-0 lead in the first seem distant. Ishikawa’s third inning waffle where he allowed a solo homer (Chono) and a 2-run shot to Murata have faded. Balentien’s defensive plays that limited Matsuoka’s damage to a single run are long gone.

Even the Swallows’ big comeback sixth in which Coco hit his 150th NPB homer (the 160th player to accomplish the feat) for two runs and Hatake’s 2 run homer to take the lead were twinged with the uneasy memory of the realization that the Swallows still had three innings to protect the lead. The 2014 Swallows have made it hard to believe that a one run lead with three innings to go is safe. The doubt grew as the Swallows wasted a chance to extend the lead from a 1 out two men on situation. The doubt was validated as Akiyoshi, one of the best Swallows bullpen arms allowed a pinch hit solo shot to tie the game.

So with the game tied after three and a half hours, the roller coaster of emotions throughout the game had left me spent. A comeback would surely have filled the emptiness. But watching the Swallows waste a no out bases loaded situation made it seem that a win wasn’t forthcoming. Even as Nakazawa and Barnette pitched clean innings, my heart was preparing for a impending loss by making my mind blank. As the game extended into its fourth hour and the Swallows reached deeper into its shallow bullpen whatever feelings of hope I had felt earlier in the game had long gone.

When Emura came in to pitch the eleventh and gave up a solo shot to Kataoka on his second pitch, I felt no surprise and barely felt any disappointment. The usually lively crowd I sit with could barely express any feelings, a quiet calm fueled by fatigue, heat, and disappointment had settled in. Once everyone witnessed the Swallows’ paltry offensive effort to end the game, everyone went their separate ways wondering why they spent the last four and a half hours sitting in the heat to watch something profoundly sad.

6-5 Giants FINAL

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • “…everyone went their separate ways wondering why they spent the last four and a half hours sitting in the heat to watch something profoundly sad.”

    Subtract the heat part, and you’ve pretty well summed up the Swallows fan experience these past couple of years.

  • Ryo Uchida

    So does the Swallows have some kind of rule where they are not allowed to score when the bases are loaded….? Man the team is swallowing hard.