April 15th, 2015
Tokyo Swallows 1
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWLLW
(Botchan Stadium, Matsuyama)
After receiving minimal run support in his first two starts, Ishiyama and Co. took matters into their own hands and combined to throw the Swallows’ second shutout of the young season.
|Abe (3B)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|Kikuchi (2B)||2||Tanaka (RF)|
|Maru (CF)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|Rosario (LF)||4||Yuhei (LF)|
|Matsuyama (RF)||5||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|Arai (1B)||6||Takeuchi (LF)|
|Tanaka (SS)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|Ishihara (C)||8||Ohbiki (SS)|
|Maeda (P)||9||Ishiyama (P)|
The Swallows surprisingly got the scoring started early tonight against ace Maeda Kenta and his sub-2.00 ERA. Yamada Tetsuto, back in his customary lead off role walked, advanced to second on Hiroyasu Tanaka’s sacrifice bunt. Kawabata then singled to right. With runners at the corners and only one out, the steady Yuhei also singled to right to bring in Yamada. Maeda in his usual ace form was able to prevent further damage by retiring Hatakeyama and Takeuchi to end the inning.
Nothing else of note happened offensively in this game as both teams failed to advance a runner past second base for the rest of the game.
After Ishiyama’s superb outing (7 innings pitched, 4 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts on 114 pitches), the back end combination of Logan Ondrusek and closer Tony Barnette came in to shut the door again. Ondrusek continued to maintain the perfect start to his Japanese career with another scoreless appearance and Barnette pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many opportunities.
In an attempt to wake up the offense, Manaka continued to tinker with his batting lineup. The slumping Yamada Tetsuto was back in his customary lead-off role, Tanaka Hiroyasu was moved up to the #2 slot, and Kawabata hit third. Although it did not help that the Swallows went up against one of the best pitchers in Japan, the changes made no difference as the offense continued to struggle. One could only imagine how good this team would be with this season’s dominant pitching and last year’s offensive juggernaut.
The Swallows end their brief stay in Matsuyama with a perfect 1-0 record and put an end to their two game losing streak. After Thursday’s day off, the Swallows begin a three game set against the Yokohama Baystars at Jingu.