September 29th, 2014
Hiroshima Carp 12
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLLWL
(Mazda Zooooom Zoooooom Stadium)
Both starters were chased early in this contest, the long ball dictated the pace, and this game was just plain crazy.
|W: Nagakawa (3-4 1S; 4.19 ERA)
L: Matsuoka (3-3; 5.33 ERA)
The Tokyo bats finally got to Heath in the middle innings, just when it was looking like he might be settling into his fourth win. However, Tokyo’s middle relief would watch this one slip away big time.
|Yamada (2B)||1||Suzuki (RF)|
|Morioka (SS)||2||Kikuchi (2B)|
|Kawabata (3B)||3||Maru (CF)|
|Yuhei (CF)||4||Eldred (1B)|
|Aikawa (C)||5||Rosario (LF)|
|Takeuchi (1B)||6||Soyogi (3B)|
|Araki (LF)||7||Tanaka (SS)|
|Matsui (RF)||8||Kura (C)|
|Narveson (P)||9||Heath (P)|
Suzuki (1B), Kikuchi (1B), and Maru (BB) loaded the bases to start the bottom of the first inning, and then Eldred brought two runs in with a single of his own.
Tokyo got one back in the top of the third when Araki scored on Yamada’s single with two outs.
But the top of the order wreaked a little more havoc in the bottom of that inning. Kikuchi and Maru both singled, and Eldred drove a high 1-1 heater into the stands in left.
Yuhei hit a solo homer to start the fourth, and then the Swallows loaded the bases with two outs, but Yuichi (pinch hitting for Narveson) grounded out to first on the opening pitch of his at bat.
Yuhei struck again in the top of the fifth. Yamada (BB) and Morioka (2B) made their way into scoring position to get things started, and then Yuhei belted a one-out changeup into the screen in right center. It was his 22nd home run of his remarkable, breakout season.
Aikawa, Takeuchi, and Araki then loaded the bases with a trio of outfield singles before Heath finally got the hook. Nakata took his place on the mound with the bases juiced and one out on the board. But this time it was Matsui who stranded the runners with an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Hiroshima momentarily took the lead again in the bottom of the inning on a Rosario single with two on and one out.
And then Tokyo grabbed the lead for the first time in the top of the sixth care of a Yamada home run (Tanaka scored).
But that was the end of the enjoyment. The seventh inning was a nightmare.
Tokyo sent three pitchers to the mound that inning. Six Hiroshima players crossed home plate.
Matsuoka recorded the first out, but then Hiroshima proceeded to fit him with a clown suit. It wasn’t the first time.
Maru (1B), Eldred (1B), and Rosario (2B) combined for the first run.
Then Kyuko took Matsuoka’s place and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches.
Then thanks to some craziness at first (Takeuchi!), two runs scored on Tanaka’s at bat. Tanaka ended up on second in the process.
Aizawa then appeared on the scene and slugged a pinch-hit homer for three more runs.
When the dust had settled:
Takeuchi hit into his second double play of the game in the top of the ninth, but your Swallows saved a little face regardless. A pair of Hiroshima errors teamed with a Hatakeyama pinch-hit single and a Matsui double scored a pair of runs to make it look a little like a game.
Narveson (3 innings, 5 earned runs, 4.53 ERA), Furuno (2 innings, 1 earned run, 5.08 ERA), and Yamamoto (1 inning, 0 earned runs, 3.53 ERA) avoided being involved in the decision.
Matsuoka (1/3 inning, 3 runs, 2 earned, 5.33 ERA) got the loss. His record is now 3-3, and like you, I have no idea why he has again been allowed to make so many appearances (38) and have so little to show for it (look at his ERA again).
Kyuko (0/3 inning, 3 earned runs, 5.40 ERA) was equally deserving on the loss. I know that it’s not possible statistically, but he shares this one with Matsuoka.
Shichijo (1 and 2/3 innings, 0 earned runs, 3.86 ERA) receives praise because nobody crossed home plate while he was in the game.
Aikawa, hitting in the five hole for the first time in a while, went 4-5 at the plate. All four were outfield singles.
Several other players had multi-hit games.
Yuhei takes the cake with his 2-5 effort. Home runs number 21 and 22 brought home a total of four RBI.
Yamada was 2-4 including his 28th homer of the season and three RBI. He also drew one walk.
Kawabata and Yamada agreed long ago not to hit well on the same night, so Kawabata went 0-5 today.
Takeuchi, Araki, and Matsui all had two-hit games as well. Takeuchi added a walk, but he grounded into two double plays, so that pretty much erases any good memories accumulated from his at bats. Matsui GIDP’d once as well.
The Swallows and Carp will face off one more time tomorrow night. First pitch is at 6 PM.