May 3rd, 2015
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Battle of the long relievers. Interesting night on both offense and defense for the Swallows. Kazahari had a very short first start, Tokuyama pulled a big boner, and Furuno got some work done sharpish. On the other side, Araki’s night was hotter than Tokyo’s suddenly sweaty weather.
|W: Tokuyama (1-0-0); L: Fukui (1-1-0)|
|1||Tanaka (SS)||1||Yamada (2B)|
|2||Kikuchi (2B)||2||Ueda (RF)|
|3||Maru (CF)||3||Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Arai (1B)||4||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Rosario (LF)||5||Yuhei (CF)|
|6||Noma (RF)||6||Takeuchi (LF)|
|7||Abe (3B)||7||Nakamura (C)|
|8||Ishihara (C)||8||Ohbiki (SS)|
|9||Fukui (P)||9||Kazahari (P)|
|RP||Kuri, Nagakawa, Zagurski||Tokuyama, Furuno, Ondrusek, Barnette|
The Scoring, etc.:
Young Ren Kazahari had a rough first start: 8 pitches, 1/3 inning, 1 out, 1 HBP, ejection. After getting Tanaka to ground out in a rather long at bat, which included four high pitches (out of seven), he beaned Kikuchi’s head on the first pitch of the at-bat and got ejected. Tokuyama took over.
Top of the second. The first run of the game was an ugly one. Rosario led off with double off the centerfield wall. Noma followed by trying to sac-bunt him over to third. The bunt failed – the ball went right to Tokuyama, who picked it up, turned to third, and tossed the ball a good body-length to the right of Kawabata, allowing Rosario to score standing up.
Abe then successfully sac-bunted Noma to third before Ishihara singled him home. In an odd choice for a team with an out, Fukui then bunted Ishihara to second. No more bleeding, though. as Tokuyama managed to K Tanaka. 2-0 Hiroshima.
Top of the third. With two outs, Arai singled, then scored in Rosario’s second double of the game. 3-0 Hiroshima.
Bottom of the third. Tokyo got on the board when Ueda led off with a walk and reached second on a Kawabata hit-and-run, then third on a Hatakeyama ground-out. Araki doubled him in and was joined on base by Takeuchi after a BB. Nakamura drove Araki in on a single.
Then something rare and wonderful happened: Ohbiki (.115 in 78 AB, with 4 BB) got a hit. That was enough to get Fukui yanked and bring Kuri to the mound. Bases loaded, Tanaka stepped in to pinch-hit for Tokuyama. Two-run double to right. 4-3 Tokyo.
Furuno took the mound for Tokyo in the fourth.
Bottom of the fourth. Ueda led off with a walk again and was followed by a Kawabata single. Fludge fludged, bringing up Araki, who added to his haul for the evening with a three-run homer to left. Takeuchi and Nakamura popped out to end the inning. 7-3 Tokyo.
Bottom of the fifth. No scoring, but Kuri made two of three Tokyo batters look foolish. Ohbiki followed up his walk and his hit by striking out looking. That was quickly overshadowed by Furuno, who struck out on a a mighty swing that left him with his ass on the plate, looking embarrassed. Yamada ended the side by hitting a one-hopper right back to Kuri.
Top of the seventh. Amaya pinch-hit for Kuri, ending the duel. He struck out looking. Furuno did some nice work there: inside, low, inside, low, inside, low, high outside edge. Strike three. Amaya wasn’t happy.Then a brief scare, with two outs: Kimura tripled. That’s all, really. Maru followed it with fly ball to left. It’s just never comforting to see two red jerseys near third at the same time.
Nagakawa took the mound for Hiroshima in the seventh. Ondrusek relieved Furuno for the Swallows in the eighth. Hiyane took over in center for Yuhei.
Mike Zagurski did the pitching for the Carp in the eighth. Some guys look like their names. Mike should maybe be a “Bob”, though.
Barnette came in to close for Tokyo and put the Carp down 1-2-3. 7-3 Tokyo, Final.
An observation: We all know win-loss record is not particularly illuminating as a stat for pitchers, but this game drives that home. Tokuyama, who gave up all of the runs the Carp scored and committed the error that cost the first run, took the W. Scorers need more latitude to override the half-inning before the last lead thing or we should just stop paying attention to wins at all.