April 8th, 2015
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Ondrusek (1-0)
L: Takahashi (2-1)
After last night’s no show against Chunichi in the opening game of the three game set in a rainy Jingu, the Swallows came back Wednesday night hoping to do a little better (not too difficult to do coming off a shutout loss) against Raul Valdez and high flying Chunichi in similarly bad weather conditions.
|Oshima (CF)||1||Kawabata (3B)|
|Kamezawa (2B)||2||Ohbiki (SS)|
|Hirata (RF)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|Luna (1B)||4||Yuhei (CF)|
|Takahashi (3B)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Hernandez (SS)||6||Tanaka (RF)|
|Fujii (LF)||7||Iihara (LF)|
|Matsui (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|Valdez (P)||9||Ishiyama (P)|
Mid-winter weather conditions made for dominating pitching over the first six innings. With temperatures in the high 30s (4 degrees C) , both Valdez and Ishiyama were mowing down opposing batters with little regard for late arriving fans hoping to catch as much baseball as possible. Through the first six innings, there were only three total base runners combined.
In the top of the seventh, bad memories from last night started to re-appear as Chunichi managed to scrap together one run. Ohshima started the inning off with a single to left and Kamezawa bunting him over to second in typical Japanese style. After Hirata hit a lazy flyball to center to make it two out, Luna came through with an RBI single to right. 1-0 Chunichi
After more strong pitching from both Valdez and Ishiyama, the Swallows finally put a run on the board in the bottom of the eighth. After Nakamura and pinch hitter Araki (for Ishiyama) were retired in order, unusual leadoff man Kawabata hit a double to right mercifully bringing an end to Valdez’s impressive outing. With right-hander Matayoshi coming on for Valdez, Morioka pinch hit for Ohbiki and answered the call; a game tying RBI single to center and reaching second on the throw home. Unfortunately for Swallows fans, Yamada was unable to bring in Morioka from second and the game went into the ninth deadlocked at 1. 1-1 TIE
Tony Barnette relieved Ishiyama in the ninth and retired the side, setting the stage for an impressive come from behind victory for the Swallows. Yuhei and Hatakeyama started the inning with consecutive singles before Tanaka expertly bunted them over to second and third. However, in what has been a recurring theme for the Swallows offense so far this season, they were unable to cash in on this opportunity. After pinch hitter Yuichi walked to load the bases, Nakamura struck out swinging and pinch hitter Imanami (for Barnette) lined out to end the inning. On to extra innings…
Logan Ondrusek came on in the tenth and retired the side in order. In the bottom of the tenth with Takahashi relieving Matayoshi, Kawabata started another rally with a single and later advancing to second on Morioka’s sacrifice bunt. After Asao relieved Takahashi, Yamada grounded out, advancing the Kawabata to third. Yuhei was walked intentionally and Hatakeyama was unintentionally intentionally walked to load the bases. Thankfully this time, Tanaka stepped up and singled Kawabata to left, ending the game and sending the freezing crowd into a controlled frenzy at Jingu. 2-1 Swallows Win.
Players of the game:
Ishiyama: a second straight strong outing. 8IP, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 earned run. He raised his ERA to 0.64.
Kawabata: not batting in his customary #2 spot, his two hits started rallies that helped the Swallows to avoid a second straight shutout loss. He is now hitting exactly .400 on the season and is on pace to his .400 for the season. (I did the math)
Tanaka: clutch game-winning RBI single in the extra frame to end Chunichi’s seven game winning streak.
Starters for tomorrow’s rubber game of the three game set: veteran Arakaki for the Swallows, Mutoh for Chunichi.