September 12th, 2015
Chunichi Dragons 3
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLWWL
Your birds started the afternoon in the Central League driver’s seat after Hanshin fell to Hiroki Kuroda and the Hiroshima Carp yesterday at Koshien Stadium.
|W: Naylor (3-3; 4.09 ERA)
L: Ogawa (10-7; 3.11)
S: Asao (1-0 1S; 2.96)
However, it would turn out to be a fleeting experience as the offense was held in check by solid outings from Chunichi’s Naylor, Yamai, and Asao.
|1||Ueda (CF)||1||Ohshima (CF)|
|2||Kawabata (3B)||2||Araki (2B)|
|3||Yamada (2B)||3||Luna (3B)|
|4||Hatakeyama (1B)||4||Hirata (RF)|
|5||Yuhei (RF)||5||Morino (1B)|
|6||Milledge (LF)||6||Hernandez (SS)|
|7||Ohbiki (SS)||7||Fujii (LF)|
|8||Nakamura (C)||8||Katsura (C)|
|9||Ogawa (P)||9||Naylor (P)|
Ogawa carried a no-hitter through two, but Chunichi scored its first run in the bottom of the third due to a Katsura single and a one-out double by Ohshima.
Ueda promptly dashed Naylor’s no-hit bid in the top of the fourth with a single. Kawabata grounded out to second, but he beat the ball to the bag at first to avoid the double play. Yamada then drew a walk, and Hatakeyama brought Kawabata home on the first pitch he saw. Naylor threw a slow curve that Hatakeyama reached for and sent into center field for a single. Both Yuhei and Milledge popped out to end the threat.
But Chunichi immediately got back to work on Ogawa. After Hirata grounded out to short, Morino drew his second walk in as many at-bats, and Hernandez and Fujii drove back-to-back singles into the outfield. Fujii’s drove in Chunichi’s second run.
Tokyo kept fighting and Ohbiki got things started with a single to right. Ohbiki stole second on the 1-0 pitch of Nakamura’s at bat, and then he moved over to third when Nakamura grounded out to short. Ogawa then worked a five-pitch walk, and Ohbiki got caught trying to go home on Ueda’s grounder to first. With two outs and runners on second and third, Kawabata saw just about everything that Naylor has to offer during their eight-pitch battle. After fouling off four pitches, and the count still at 2-2, Kawabata worked a curveball into right field which scored Ogawa from third. Unfortunately, Yamada struck out looking to end the fun.
Ogawa pitched a perfect fifth, but he got beat up a little bit in the sixth. He got Luna to ground out to short, but then Hirata and Morino recorded outfield singles. Hernandez walked to load the bases, and Fujii struck out swinging for the second out. Pinch-hitter and all-around old guy, Ogasawara then emerged from the depths of the dugout (and his career) to face Ogawa with two outs. Wisdom prevailed in this encounter when Ogasawara knocked a 2-1 heater into right to plate the go-ahead run. Akasaka, pinch-hitting for Naylor, recorded the final out to end the scoring.
Tokyo had only one more base runner after that. Ueda singled in the top of the seventh with two outs and then stole second on the first pitch of Kawabata’s at-bat. However, Yamai got Kawabata to ground out to the pitcher with the count at 3-2.
Ogawa took the loss after six inning of work in which he allowed seven hits and three walks from 114 pitches. He also recorded two strikeouts. Roman (2.57 ERA) and Akiyoshi (2.64) pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Incidentally, today’s game was Roman’s 54th (mostly relief) and Akiyoshi’s 64th (all in relief).
Ueda was arguably Tokyo’s most dangerous offensive player in this contest. He was 2-3 (two singles) with a walk and a stolen base. He was the only Swallow to record a multi-hit game. All six of Tokyo’s hits today were outfield singles. Seven of Chunichi’s eight hits were the same (one double).
Game two of this short series is tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM, again in Nagoya Dome.
Chunichi will send the in form Wakamatsu (8-3, 2.37 ERA) to the mound, and Ishiyama (5-5; 3.36) gets the nod for the good guys.