August 21st, 2014
Yomiuri 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.
|W: Mathieson (6-3)
L: Emura (0-1)
|1||Hisayoshi Ch*no (RF)||1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|2||Itaru Hashimoto (CF)||2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)|
|3||Hayato Sakamoto (SS)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Shinnosuke Abe (1B)||4||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|5||Shuichi Murata (3B)||5||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)|
|6||Hirokazu Ibata (2B)||6||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|7||Taishi Ota (LF)||7||Ryosuke Morioka (SS)|
|8||Kazunari Sanematsu (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Hirokazu Sawamura (P)||9||Masanori 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