April 17th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 5
Streak: WLWWW Last 5: Won 3
(Matsuyama Botchan Stadium)
A week ago, the BayStars left Juri Hara with welts, Would our valiant youth notch his first pro win? Would he at least recover a bit of face against Yokohama?
|W: Matsuoka (1-0)
L: Yamasaki (0-1)
Alas, no. Four innings ending in blood loss seems to be a pattern for Tokyo’s top draft pick. Luckily for him, he had only the second-worst afternoon for a hurler in Matsuyama today.
|1||Kuwahara (CF)||1||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|2||Ishikawa (2B)||2||Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Aranami (RF)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|4||Tsutsugo (LF)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|5||Lopez (1B)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|6||Kuramoto (3B)||6||Araki (1B)|
|7||Shibata (SS)||7||Yachi (SS)|
|8||Takajo (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Yamaguchi (RHP)||9||Hara (RHP)|
|RP||Mikami (R), Yamasaki (R)||RP||Muranaka (L), Akiyoshi (R), Matsuoka (R)|
Top of the first. Kuwahara led off with a double to center, then advanced to third on an Ishikawa bunt, before scoring on an Aranami grounder. So Hara was not going to come out guns blazing and get his revenge. 1-0 Yokohama.
Top of the fourth. Aranami led off with a double, Tstsugo got hit high and inside, and Lopez drove them both in on a double. Kuramoto doubled, putting men on the corners before Hara managed to notch outs, including nabbing Lopez at home on a Takajo grounder back to the mound. 3-0 Yokohama.
Bottom of the fourth. The Swallows sturck back. Yuhei singled, Araki popped out, and Yachi pulled off a successful hit-and-run to put runners on the corners. Nakamura struck out, then Imanami walked, getting ball four on a checked swing at a pitch in the dirt. Sakaguchi then drilled a two-run single. 3-2 Yokohama.
Top of the ninth. Matsuoka pitched at Lopez’s ankles and walked him. Shirasaki reached first on an error at short. Otosaka then hit a line-drive RBI single to center. The only Basters hit of the game given up by a Tokyo reliever. 4-2 Yokohama.
Bottom of the ninth. With Yamasaki on the mound for the Basters, Tokyo gave the good people of Matsuyama their money’s worth.
Sakaguchi singled on a line drive to left, completing one hell of a day: 4 hits, one BB. Kawabata then got nabbed at first, but Sakaguchi advanced. Balentien then hit a grounder right through the glove of Kuramoto, driving in Sakaguchi. Yuhei followed that with a big double to left, putting two men in scoring position. Araki then drew a walk to load the bases.
Nishiura came through with an RBI single to right to tie the game and was quickly followed by Nakamura, who made his first hit of the day a walk-off RBI single. 5-4 Tokyo, Final. Most exciting finish of the 2016 campaign thus far.
The Birds travel to the ivy-draped trailer park that is Koshien Tuesday.