April 26th, 2015
Yomiuri Giants 4
Tokyo Swallows 1
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLWWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
.Despite recent successes, Manaka continued to tinker with the line-up, starting Yagi instead of the season’s typical Sunday man, Sugiura, and replacing Ohbiki, who lost his bat, with Morioka. Takeuchi started in left.
The ball of baby fat in a baggy uniform that is Hayato Takagi didn’t give the Swallows much room to move.
|W: Takagi (4-0)
L: Yagi (0-1)
S: Sawamura (7)
|1||Kinjoh (RF)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|2||Kataoka (2B)||2||Ueda (RF)|
|3||Hashimoto (CF)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Sakamoto (SS)||4||Yuhei (CF)|
|5||Anderson (LF)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|6||Ibata (3B)||6||Morioka (SS)|
|7||Nakai (1B)||7||Takeuchi (LF)|
|8||Kobayashi (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Takagi (P)||9||Yagi (P)|
|RP||Mathieson, Sawamura||RP||Furuno, Nakazawa, Akiyoshi, Roman|
The Scoring, &c.:
The Giants started the scoring early. Kinjoh singled and was sac-bunted to second (of course), before scoring on a Hashimoto double to right. 1-0 Yomiuri.
Top of the third. Yagi seemed to have some control problems, putting a passel of pitches in the dirt. Following of those against Kataoka, with two outs, he tossed a high, easy fatty down the center. The wind was blowing straight out to the bleacher, so a tap from Kataoka was all it took for the ball to just clear the right field fence. (And for some dipshit in Swallows gear to jump up and cheer because she got the ball. A reminder, kids: Don’t cheer for the Giants, especially not because a souvenir of them scoring.) 2-0 Yomiuri.
Bottom of the third. The Swallows finally got a few men on base, just not at the same time. Takeuchi walked, then got caught on his way to second as Nakamura singled. Yagi then came to bat and, with one out, laid down a pathetic excuse for a sac-bunt – the ball didn’t leave the dirt in front of the box, so Kobayashi barely had to move to pick it up and make an easy throw to second. Yagi only narrowly missed the double play.
Bottom of the fourth. Ueda led off by safely bunting, but wasn’t quick enough to avoid getting picked off. The Birds still didn’t get anyone past first.
Bottom of the fifth. Fludge! Takagi tried to work the outside edge on Hatakeyama, but the big guy came through on the first strike he saw, nudging it just over the left field fence. That was his sixth HR of the season and the 100th of his career. 2-1 Yomiuri.
Top of the fifth. Furuno took over Yagi, whose nail-biters were bound to turn ugly sooner or later.
Top of the seventh. Nakazawa took over pitching duties for Tokyo.
Bottom of the seventh. A moment of excitement, as Yuhei came up just shy of the left field fence (and in Anderson’s glove), forcing Kawabata, who was well on his way to third, to race all the way back to first.
Top of the eighth. Akiyoshi took the mound for Tokyo and wound up having a rough time of it.
Suzuki pinch-hit for Anderson and singled. With two outs and a man on first, Murata stepped in for Nakai and singled to put men on the corners. Kobayashi singled to very shallow center to drive Suzuki in. Takagi’s night then finally ended, as Takahashi batted for him, singling to load the bases.
Akiyoshi threw a low inside pitch to Kinjoh. TV replay shows Kinjoh got out of the way, but that didn’t stop him from going to first – and a run scoring – on a HBP. 4-1 Yomiuri.
Bottom of the eighth. Mathieson stepped in at the Giants’ tosser.
Top of the ninth. Roman took the mound for Tokyo. Not fast or pretty, but he got out unscathed.
Bottom of the ninth. Sawamura came in to close for Yomiuri. Quick. 4-1 Yomiuri, Final.