April 2nd, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 7
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LWDWW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Tokyo sent Ishikawa to the mound hoping to keep its three game unbeaten streak alive. Ishikawa, for his part, hoped to make amends for his loss last week in which he gave up five earned runs in only four innings of work in earning the loss.
|W: Ishikawa (1-1)
L: Yamai (0-2)
|1||Yohei Oshima (CF)||1||Tomotaka Sakaguchi (LF)|
|2||Masahiro Araki (2B)||2||Shingo Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Issei Endo (SS)||3||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|4||Dayan Viciedo (1B)||4||Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)|
|5||Ryosuke Hirata (RF)||5||Yuhei (Takai) (RF)|
|6||Atsushi Fujii (LF)||6||Takahiro Imanami (SS)|
|7||Shuhei Takahashi (3B)||7||Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)|
|8||Shota Sugiyama (C)||8||Yuhei Nakamura (C)|
|9||Daisuke Yamai (P)||9||Masanori Ishikawa (P)|
Ishikawa got a lot of defensive help and got through the first four innings on 48 pitches. In fact, his infield manufactured three double plays, one each in the first three innings. In the first, Araki lined out to first (nice grab by Hatake, by the way) and Oshima got doubled up at first for the first two outs. In the second inning, the threat was extinguished with a garden variety 6-4-3. In the third, Yamai struck out swinging, and Nakamura threw Sugiyama out while trying to steal second.
Can someone please check how many guys Nakamura has thrown out already? It seems like his percentage is pretty high so far this season.
The Tokyo offense finally got hold of Yamai in the bottom of the fourth with several well-hit pitches. Hatakeyama and Yuhei led off with outfield singles, and Imanami brought them both home with a triple to the gape in right-center.
Ueda hit a sac fly to deep center field for run number three.
And the same crew got together to pile a couple more runs on two innings later. Hatakeyama and Yuhei welcomed Chunichi’s first reliever, Okada, with some patience. They both drew walks. Imanami followed with his third hit of the game which loaded the bases for Ueda. He wasn’t so patient and promptly popped out to second base. Nakamura cashed in with a grounder down the line in left which scored two.
Unfortunately, the threat ended prematurely when Imanami was doubled up at third after Ishikawa struck out swinging.
Ishikawa’s achilles heel, the long ball, made a brief appearance in the top of the seventh. Viciedo chipped a 1-1 sinker over the field in left with two outs.
Things threatened to come unraveled in the top of the eighth, however. Kyuko gave up a single to start the inning, and then Sugiura gave up a hit and a walk to load the bases. He got out number one on an Oshima fly ball to right that was not deep enough to allow Takahashi to try his luck heading home. Yuhei sports a bit of a canon in right, so it was probably a wise decision.
Leuke then came in an squashed any remaining hope with one pitch as Araki grounded into another inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ueda reached first on an error (Viciedo couldn’t glove a throw in the dirt from short), and Nakamura Tak-bunted him over to second. The strategy worked as Araki then glided a 1-2 slider over the center fielder’s head for a triple.
Sakaguchi soon followed with a single for another run.
Ondrusek pitched a shutdown ninth inning to seal Tokyo’s first series win of a very young 2015.
Both Kawabata and Imanami had three hits each with one RBI for Shingo, and two for Tokyo’s shortstop du jour.
Ishikawa induced scads of grounders and pop flies and issued just one walk in his seven innings of work this time around. It was a deserved first win for Tokyo’s veteran lefty.
Game three is tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 1 PM.