September 21st, 2014
Yomiuri Giants 6
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLLW
The Swallows put together five late runs to eventually win this one in the top of the 11th.
|W: Barnette (1-2 14S; 3.34 ERA)
L: Egarashi (0-2; 2.89 ERA)
S: Yamamoto (3-3 3S; 3.70 ERA)
The four hour and 10 minute affair was attended by a reported crowd of 44,919.
|Yamada (2B)||1||Kataoka (2B)|
|Morioka (SS)||2||Hashimoto (CF)|
|Kawabata (3B)||3||Sakamoto (SS)|
|Balentien (LF)||4||Abe (1B)|
|Yuhei (CF)||5||Anderson (LF)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||6||Murata (3B)|
|Iihara (RF)||7||Kamei (RF)|
|Aikawa (C)||8||Kobayashi (C)|
|Ogawa (P)||9||Sawamura (P)|
Ogawa had a little help with his rocky first inning. Morioka allowed Sakamoto a free base on a fielding error with two outs, and he soon scored on Abe’s ensuing double into the gap in left center. Abe followed him on Anderson’s follow-up single up the middle.
After Sawamura posted another perfect inning in the top of the second, Kamei began the bottom of the frame with a solo shot to right on a 2-0 inside heater.
A very large fifth inning saw the game leveled, however, as Tokyo strung together five consecutive one out hits. Kawabata rolled one into right, and Balentien followed with a line drive in the same direction. With runners on the corners, Yuhei doubled a third ball into Kamei’s territory, scoring Kawabata from third in the process.
One pitch later, Balentien and Yuhei both scored on Balentien’s single down the line in left. Iihara singled as well, but Aikawa and Ogawa left both runners on base.
Yomiuri regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Kataoka’s single with one out was followed by a Sakamoto homer that scraped into the stands in left (his 15th).
That would be it for Ogawa. He was pinch hit in the top of the sixth with two on and two outs. Yuichi, however, grounded out to short in his stead.
Nakazawa (1.93 ERA), Matsuoka (5.01), and Akiyoshi (2.44) combined to keep the Giants off the board over the next three innings.
We move to the top of the ninth where the two run deficit is still intact. Mathieson is on the mound yet again to try and grab his 30th save of the season. Fortunately that didn’t happen.
Aikawa welcomed him to the game with a double to center on the first pitch he saw (low fastball). It was Aikawa’s second double of the game.
Tanaka drew a pinch-hit walk (a wild pitch allowed Aikawa to take third) before Yamada struck out chasing sliders, but by that point Ueda (pinch running for Tanaka) had already stolen second.
Aikawa scored on Yachi’s groundout to short on a 1-2 slider (Ueda advanced as well), and then Kawabata tied it up with his fourth single of the day. Mathieson didn’t finish the inning.
Kyuko (4.73 ERA) faced four batters in the bottom of the ninth, allowing one single but no runs scored.
And the Swallows offense kept at it. When was the last time the birds won an extra inning game at the dome? Who cares. After officially being bumped from the playoff picture one day prior, the visitors were not in the mood to lose their fourth game in a row–or a fifth consecutive at the dome.
Iihara got things started with two outs in the top of the tenth. He singled to left and took second soon after. Then Aikawa continued his big day at the plate with an RBI single to right, claiming the lead for the first time all afternoon.
But Yomiuri answered in the bottom of the 10th with Barnette on the mound looking for his 15th save of the season. Hashimoto worked a leadoff walk before being bunted over and then finding third on Yano’s pinch hit single. Ota then hit a double to left which scored the tying run.
But Tokyo continued to apply pressure. Or at least Yamada did. With Egarashi on the mound for Yomiuri, Yamada passed on a pair of sliders and a curveball before taking a hack at a third slider. He connected on the next pitch, a hanging forkball that ended up clearing the wall in center to put the Swallows in front once again.
Ibata welcomed Yamamoto to the game with an 11-pitch at bat that resulted in a single to center. Kataoka popped up to short, however, and the game ended when Hashimoto grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
Barnette (1-2 14S; 3.34 ERA) got his first win of the season, and Yamamoto (3-3 3S; 3.70 ERA) recorded the save on 19 pitches.
Ogawa (8-5; 4.00 ERA) allowed five runs (three earned) over five innings but didn’t factor in the final decision. He gave up five hits, including two home runs, struck out two and walked one.
A number of players had big days on offense.
First and foremost, Yamada was 2-6 with the game-winning home run in the 11th. It was his 25th homer of the year if you can believe that.
Kawabata was 4-6 at the plate with four singles and one RBI.
Iihara and Aikawa had three hits each with the latter also adding one RBI.
Balentien was 1-3 (single) in his final game of the 2014 season. He will return to the US soon to have his Achilles checked and may require surgery during the off-season.
The Swallows have tomorrow off before welcoming Hiroshima to town for a three-game set beginning on Tuesday. Because it’s a holiday, the game on Tuesday will start at 1 PM.