March 28th, 2015
Hiroshima Carp 1
Streak: Lost 1 Last 2: WL
(Mazda Zooooom Zoooooom Stadium)
Hiroshima rode a stellar start from one of it’s imported pitchers to the first win of the Ogata era.
|W: Johnson (1-0; 0.00 ERA)
L: Ishikawa (0-1; 1.29 ERA)
|Yamada (2B)||1||Suzuki (RF)|
|Kawabata (3B)||2||Kikuchi (2B)|
|Millidge (LF)||3||Maru (CF)|
|Yuhei (CF)||4||Guzman (1B)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||5||Matsuyama (LF)|
|Ohbiki (SS)||6||Soyogi (SS)|
|Araki (RF)||7||Mima (3B)|
|Nakamura (C)||8||Ishihara (C)|
|Ishikawa (P)||9||Johnson (P)|
The Swallows had the unfortunate pleasure of witnessing new Hiroshima southpaw, Kris Johnson, raise the curtain on his NPB career. The 6’4″ former Pittsburgh and Minnesota player was dominant throughout.
Meanwhile, Ishikawa put together a decent performance, but with shaky control and a higher pitch count. He was very close to a third straight bagel in the bottom of the third, but with two outs he left a pitch up that Kikuchi (11 HR in 2014) pulled into the bleachers in left.
And that was the game. Johnson was completely dominant in his NPB debut, allowing just a single hit in his complete game shutout. He carried a perfect game through six full frames before Yamada’s bloop single to right forced him to settle for just a garden-variety W.
Johnson kept the Swallows off balance with a steady diet of curves and changeups. He struck out seven over nine innings (105 pitches) and walked nary a bird.
Ishikawa was upstaged by the new face in red, but he still pitched a very good game. He threw 103 pitches over seven innings, allowed seven hits, struck out four, and walked two.
It should be interesting to see if Johnson can continue to miss bats like he did today, or if other teams will study the tape and make sure he has a very 2014 Chris Seddon-like season.
Sugiura will take the mound tomorrow afternoon for the Swallows against the venerable Hiroki Kuroda who will be marking his return to Japanese baseball after seven years in the majors with the Dodgers and Yankees (79W-79L; 3.45 ERA).