Sep 29th 2015, vs Hiroshima

September 29th, 2015

Hiroshima Carp logo cleanHiroshima Carp 4Tokyo Swallows Logo

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLWWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

The Swallows are still at M1 as the bad Shohei Tateyama showed up in front of an absolutely packed Jingu Stadium. The anticipation of a championship  brought people out of the woodwork and 33,522 people managed to find their way into Jingu and many more were seen standing outside the stadium gates or huddled around the entrance of the Gaienmae HUB.

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W: Nomura (5-8);
L: Tateyama (6-3)
S: Nakazaki (28)

 Carp Swallows
1Yoshihiro Maru (CF)1Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)
2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Ryuhei Matsuyama (RF)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Brad Eldred (LF)4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
5Takahiro Arai (1B)5Wladimir Balentien (LF)
6Kosuke Tanaka (SS)6Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
7Tomohiro Abe (3B)7Takahiro Imanami (SS)
8Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Yusuke Nomura (P)9Shohei Tateyama (P)

The Carp are still fighting for a playoff spot against the Tigers and weren’t ready to lay down like the Dragons the previous night. Tateyama had not given up a run to the Carp in 14 innings this year but early control issues caused some concern in the early going. Tateyama walked two in the first and loaded the bases in the second, but got out of both jams.

Tateyama helped his own cause in the third with a one out single up the middle, which was followed by back-to-back singles by Kawabata and Yamada to open up the scoring. 1-0 Swallows

Tateyama chugged along and while the Swallows offense kept getting singles off of Nomura nothing further materialized. Finally Tateyama cracked in the fifth. Maru lead off the inning with a barely over the fence Jingu homer to left to tie the score. 1-1 All Kikuchi fouled out on the next pitch for one out. But Tateyama threw four straight balls to Matsuyama to put a man on first for Brad Eldred. Tateyama misses outside and served a inside fastball that quickly found itself in the left field stands. 3-1 Carp

The Swallows kept hitting but couldn’t get anyone past first base until the seventh inning. Nakamura lead off the inning with a single. Miwa couldn’t do anything in a pinch hitting role, but Ueda managed to walk putting a Swallows on second for only the third time in the game with one out. Kawabata missing his shot and fouled out harmlessly, but Yamda did his thing and singled home a run. 3-2 Carp

That was as close as the Swallows got. The Carp got an insurance run in the eighth. Tanaka lead off the inning with a single off of Kyuko. Abe bunted Tanaka over and the Swallows passed the ball to Akiyoshi. Akiyoshi got Ishihara to fly out for out number two, but gave up a triple to Noma for the extra run. The Swallows elected to intentionall walk both Maru and Kikuchi to load the bases and face Kokubo (in for the pitcher) for the final out. The move paid off as Akiyoshi got Kokubo to strikeout swinging. 4-2 Carp

Carp closer Nakazaki pitched two innings of no hit ball to preserve the win. 4-2 Carp FINAL

Lots of missed opportunities but the Swallows will have one more shot to clinch at home on Thursday against the Tigers.

The look on Coco’s face sums up the night. Don’t let fear and doubt set in during tomorrow’s off day, folks! Take the hit and move on.

We’ll see you Thursday!

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About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he’s not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.