September 22nd, 2015
Tokyo Swallows 4
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LWLWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Ishikawa (12-9 / 3.37 ERA); L: Toda (3-3 / 3.75)
S: Barnette (37S / 1.40)
Masanori Ishikawa won his 5th game in a row, Tony Barnette equalled the Swallows single season save record of 37, while the offense did all their scoring against Carp starter Toda as Tokyo won their 70th game of 2015 to maintain their perch atop mount CL.
|1||Maru (CF)||1||Araki (RF)|
|2||Kikuchi (2B)||2||Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Arai (1B)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|4||Eldred (LF)||4||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Suzuki (RF)||5||Balentien (LF)|
|6||Dobayashi (3B)||6||Yuhei (CF)|
|7||Ishihara (C)||7||Ohbiki (SS)|
|8||Tanaka (SS)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Toda (P)||9||Ishikawa (P)|
Tokyo opened the scoring in the 1st against a seemingly overmatched Toda. An Araki single, surprise Kawabata bunt (leading to an error), and a walk for Yamada loaded the bases for Hatake with no outs. A run would score on a grounder to short, 1-0 Tokyo, before Balentien walked to load the bases once more, with another run scoring on a Toda wild pitch for 2-0.
Ishikawa then gave up what would be his only run of the game, as Brad Eldred clubbed a low sinker into the left field stands to make it 2-1.
But that would be as close as Hiroshima got. In the 3rd, a Yuhei triple and Ohbiki RBI grounder extended the lead to 3-1, before in the 4th an Ishikawa walk, Araki sac bunt, and Kawabata timely hit to left made it 4-1.
After Ishikawa’s six innings were done, Akiyoshi struggled a touch through the 7th, putting Eldred and Suzuki on via a walk and a single. After Abe advanced the runners into scoring positions with a ground out for out number one, Mastuyama hit a fly out to centre, with Ueda’s throw home easily beating the lumbering Eldred to end the inning.
Ondrusek then pitched a perfect 8th before Barnette came in for his customary 9th inning role. And while a two-out triple for Suzuki, and single from Abe narrowed the lead to 4-2, Tony got the job done by getting Tanaka to fly out to centre for the juicy satisfaction of a 4-2 Tokyo Final.
- Ishikawa’s final line: 6 IP / 74 NP / 3 H / 3 K / 0 BB / 1 ER. As previously mentioned, this was his 5th win on the spin for his 12th W of the season. This is the 6th time in his career Ishikawa has registered 12 wins or more in a season, with his career high win total of 13 coming in both 2009 and 2010.
- Barnette’s 37 saves equals Shingo Takatsu’s single season save record from 2001. A year, incidentally, in which the Swallows last won the CL (and Japan Series) crown.
- Depending on whose rules you follow, the Swallows either have a magic number to clinch the CL of 7, or are yet to have one. Officially, by Japanese standards, they do not yet have such a number, but well, it’s in their own hands now really.
- Hanshin’s loss to Yomiuri means that Tokyo are now 2 games ahead of their neighbours in 2nd, 3 ahead of Hanshin, and 5.5 ahead of Hiroshima.
- Tomorrow’s last game of the silver week national holiday will start at 1pm, and will feature an enticing pitching match-up of Tateyama vs Kuroda.