April 25th, 2015
Yomiuri Giants 0
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LWLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Ishikawa scattered nine hits and five strikeouts as he blanked Yomiuri for his first complete game shutout of the year.
|W: Ishikawa (2-2; 1.29 ERA)|
L: Taguchi (1-2; 3.86)
The W gave the Swallows a 3-2 edge in the season series against their cross-town rivals and extended their Central League lead to two games over Yomiuri and Chunichi.
|Chono (RF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Kataoka (2B)||2||Araki (RF)|
|Hashimoto (CF)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Sakamoto (SS)||4||Yuhei (CF)|
|Anderson (LF)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Ibata (1B)||6||Iihara (LF)|
|Murata (3B)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|Sanematsu (C)||8||Ohbiki (SS)|
|Taguchi (P)||9||Ishikawa (P)|
This game was all but over after the first inning. Yamada took an HBP and then Araki drew a walk to welcome Taguchi to Jingu Stadium. You may remember that we have faced Taguchi before, and the game resulted in his one win of the season.
But this time around, even with Balentien freshly relisted on the DL, Tokyo’s bats would provide run support for Ishikawa. And Taguchi’s balk helped, too.
Kawabata moved Yamada and Araki over with a tricky groundout to first, and then Taguchi was called for a balk which allowed Yamada to walk home for the first run. Yuhei singled to right soon after to send Araki home, and Hatakeyama’s ensuing double meant Tokyo again had two runners in scoring position. Iihara’s first-pitch pop fly was just deep enough in left that Yuhei was able to score from third to round out a very productive opening frame for the Swallows.
The home side added to Ishikawa’s lead in the bottom of the third. Araki led off with an infield single on a 2-2 heater high and away. Araki ran on the 1-2 pitch and Kawabata opted to swing. Araki was safe at second, but Kawabata got thrown out at first. Yuhei and Hatakeyama then drew consecutive walks on a combined nine pitches before Iihara again stepped up to the plate and brought two more runs in on a 0-1 single up the middle.
Yomiuri got a pair of runners on in the fifth, but they never truly threatened Ishikawa’s grip on the game. And the Tokyo bats sort of packed it in as well once Taguchi was bundled from the game after four amateur innings (3 BB, 1 HBP, 2 wild pitches, 1 balk).
In fact, this game rolled by in a right hurry. By the time Ishikawa got Murata to hit a grounder to second for the final out, the clock read 8:17 PM. That’s right, nine innings of baseball in two hours and seventeen minutes.
Game three of this series is scheduled for Sunday evening with Yagi making his first appearance of 2015 for Tokyo, and Takagi (3-0, 1.55 ERA) taking the mound for Yomiuri. 6 PM start.
- Iihara was 1-3 at the plate with 3 RBI (sac fly, 2 RBI single).
- Araki and Yuhei both went 2-3 with a walk. Yuhei added an RBI as well.
- Ishikawa threw 109 pitches over his nine frames of work. He allowed nine hits but no walks. He struck out five and his 1.29 ERA is only good enough for third best on the team (Ishiyama, 0.69; Ogawa, 0.76) and number five in the Central League rankings.