October 16th, 2015
Yomiuri Giants 0
Tokyo Swallows 2
Swallows Lead Series 3-1
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Tateyama (1-0)
L: Sugano (0-1) S: Barnette (1 S)
Tokyo blanked Yomiuri for the second straight game as the Swallows took a commanding series lead, leaving them just one victory away from a Japan Series date in Fukuoka.
|1||Tateoka (CF)||1||Ueda (CF)|
|2||Kataoka (2B)||2||Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Sakamoto (SS)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|4||Abe (1B)||4||Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||C***o (RF)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|6||Kamei (LF)||6||Balentien (LF)|
|7||Murata (3B)||7||Imanami (SS)
|8||Katoh (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Sugano (P)||9||Tateyama (P)|
Tateyama started for the birds, and it was the good form of Tateyama that we saw on the mound, pitching six innings of four hit shut out ball. That’s not to say he didn’t get into any trouble though. In the 1st after getting two quick outs, he allowed two singles to put men on the corners, but got out thanks to a C***o fly out to left.
Then in the 4th, the red-hot Piggy Overlord Abe singled to lead off the inning, eventually reaching third, advancing on a wild pitch and ground out. Kamei then hit a fly out to left, but Abe either didn’t read the ball well enough, not tagging up at third sufficiently early, or didn’t have the faith in his portly frame to be able to reach home before the throw. Either way the go-ahead run was marooned at third after Murata also flied out to end the inning.
And in the top of the 6th, after walking Sakamoto to lead off the inning, Tateyama would escape the inning in stylish fashion. The king of wastage C***o hit a comebacker which deflected off Tateyama’s foot, straight to Imanami at short, who then turned the 6-4-3 inning ending double play.
The bats meanwhile were facing Sugano, still winless at Jingu over his career. And just like Yomiuri, they were wasteful over the first two thirds of this one too. In the 4th, birthday boy Kawabata hit one to short too hot for Sakamoto to handle, and Yamada singled to centre to put two on for Hatake. He grounded out but advanced the runners into scoring position for Yuhei, but he could only fly out to the third base foul area for out number two. The folly of batting Balentien 6th was then exposed as he was given a free pass to first to load the bases with Imanami next up, and the shortstop could only ground out to second to strand three.
And so we arrived at the bottom of the 6th. Singles for Kawabata and Hatake sandwiching a Yamada walk loaded the bases for Yuhei. He grounded into a double play but the go-ahead run scored, 1-0 Tokyo, with Yamada now at third with two outs. Up stepped Balentien, at which point Sugano drilled Coco in the side with an inside fastball. Balentien took exception to this, taking a few steps toward the mound while shouting at Sugano, with the pitcher wanting no part of it, turning around and walking away as his pants filled. The Swallows bench and and bullpen then emptied, but Yomiuri’s did not, and Balentien was guided to first as the situation was diffused swiftly.
Sugano, possibly rattled, then allowed the second run as Imanami chipped one over the infield to left, 2-0 Tokyo.
And thus it was up to Tokyo’s stellar ‘pen to bring this one home in increasingly difficult conditions, as the rain gradually intensified over the final third. And they did the same job they have done so many times over the course of the year, with Akiyoshi (1 and 0/3 innings), Kyuko (1/3), Ondrusek (2/3), and Barnette (1) slamming the door on the Yomiuri shit show for a 2-0 Tokyo Final.
So on we go to Saturday, just one win away from Fukuoka after the Hawks completed their series sweep against Chiba. Ishiyama will get the start for the good guys, with Poreda taking the mound for all that is evil.
These are good times folks, let’s enjoy them!