This was the replay of the game that got rained out on June 5th. Had they won tonight’s contest, the team would have finished interleague above .500 for the first time in…well…forever.
|W: Masuda (2-1; 6.75 ERA)
L: Ondrusek (3-1; 2.56 ERA)
The Swallows drew first blood in the bottom of the first. Yamada and Ueda drew consecutive walks and we’re joined on base by Kawabata thanks to an infield single. Hatakeyama did his job by sacrificing to right field, but that was as far as things got.
|1||Ikuhiro Kiyota (RF)||1||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|2||Shogo Nakamura (CF)||2||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)|
|3||Katsuya Kakunaka (LF)||3||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|4||Luis Cruz (2B)||4||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Toshiaki Imae (3B)||5||Yuhei (Takai) (CF)|
|6||Shunichi Nemoto (1B)||6||Mitch Dening (LF)|
|7||Daichi Suzuki (SS)||7||Takahiro Imanami (SS)|
|8||Tatsuhiro Tamura (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Hideaki Wakui (P)||9||Masato Furuno (P)|
Fast forward to inning número tres, and Hatakeyama entered the box with runners on the corners. Another sac fly. Yamada scored from third.
And that would be it for the Swallows on offense. They would create some more chances, but LOB would be the name of the game for the final six frames.
Not so for the visitors, however.
Furuno came undone in the fifth after giving up a one-out solo homer to Saburo who was pinch-hitting for Wakui. Kyuko allowed an inherited runner to score before he, too, got the hook (check the GIF below for a look at how unlucky Kyuko was there). Akiyoshi finished out the inning and then started the next without any further damage.
— プロ野球アンテナ★なんJ(･∀･｡) (@proyakyuantenna) June 15, 2015
Akiyoshi took a seat after allowing a double and a walk against one out in the sixth, but Ondrusek erased the threat with a pair of quick outs.
The top of the seventh was a rough one, however, as a pair of singles were followed by a second misjudged warning track leap in as many innings by center fielder Ueda which notched a triple and two RBI for pinch-hitter, Iguchi. Iguchi then walked home when Ondrusek was called for a balk because he didn’t come set for the five or however many seconds are required in Japan.
Roman pitched a scoreless eighth, and then Barnette came in for the ninth what with the upcoming four-day break now upon us. He ended up allowing his first earned run of the season, but was completely calm and in control throughout–a point he accentuated by getting the final two outs by strikeout while making fun of the first base umpire after he missed a check swing that broke the plane.
So, not a whole lot of fun to be had, but the team deserves credit for finishing third out of the six Central League teams in the interleague standings. The team’s ERA was well above four during those 18 games, but the offense has become ever-so-slightly more of a force to be reckoned with, especially thanks to Hatakeyama’s nine homers since interleague started on May 26th.
And now the birds are in fourth in the Central, only three games back from Yomiuri in first place. Not too shabby. Especially when you compare them to how gawd-awful they were the past couple of years. Not many of us who have been paying attention would have thought that the team would be in such a position after the game today.
Central League hostilities resume on Friday when your Birds take on Hanshin at Koshien Stadium for an abbreviated two-game set this Saturday and Sunday. Both games start at 2 PM.
- LOB log: 2 in the 1st; 2 in the 3rd; 3 in the 4th; 2 in the 5th; 2 in the 9th. 11 total.
- Only Kawabata had a multi-hit day. 2-4 with a walk.
- Tokyo was outhit 6-16.