May 25th 2016, vs. Hanshin

May 25th, 2016

Hanshin Tigers 8TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 9

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

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W: Ondrusek (1-1 ; 0.93 ERA)
L: Fujikawa (2-3 ; 5.28)

After just over 4 hours of “baseball”, an Imanami sayonara sacrifice fly was enough to crown the Swallows as the slightly less shitty of the two shitty teams battling it out at Jingu Stadium this evening.

 Hiroshima Tokyo
1Houjyo (2B)1Ohbiki (SS)
2Itayama (LF)2Sakaguchi (CF)
3Fukudome (RF)3Yamada (2B)
4Gomez (1B)4Balentien (LF)
5Haraguchi (C)5Kawabata (3B)
6Takayama (LF)6Hatakeyama (1B)
7Hague (3B)7Yuhei (RF)
8Toritani (SS)8Nishida (C)
9Yokuyama (P)9Davies (P)

It's over.

It’s over

On an evening featuring more than it’s fair share of questionable pitching, Hanshin starter Yokoyama got things started in the bottom of the 1st, with an Ohbiki double (bumped to the lead off spot as Manaka tweaked his batting order), and later error at third on a Yamada ground ball putting the Swallows up 1-0 Tokyo. Balentien followed that up with a monster two-run shot over (not the fence but) the backscreen in centre for 3-0.

Kyle Davies, who was making just his second start of the season, couldn’t make the most of the early lead, as back-to-back doubles (the first of which was from Yokoyama) made it 3-1 in the 3rd, before a walk and Gomez three-run homer to right tied flipped the script, 3-4 Hanshin.

Davies was then gifted another decent lead in the bottom of the 3rd, a Sakaguchi walk, Yamada double, and another mammoth homer from Coco to the exact same spot in centre putting the birds ahead once more at 6-4 Tokyo.

BOOM

BOOM

Two more runs followed in the 4th, as a single from Sakaguchi and walk for Yamada were later followed up by back-to-back RBI singles from Kawabata and Hatake to extend the lead to 8-4.

Davies was done after 5 innings, with Muranaka coming in to open the 6th. A single and Toritani two-run dinger narrowed things to 8-6, before two walks and a Fukudome double cut the Tokyo lead to just one8-7. With two men in scoring position with two outs on the board, the rapidly unraveling Muranaka was replaced with Akiyoshi who got the final out of the inning to preserve the slender lead.

A 1-2-3 7th followed for Akiyoshi before the Swallows bats should have taken the lead against Enokida in the bottom of the frame. Singles from Kawabata, Hatake, and a walk for the pinch-hitting Ihara loaded the bases with two outs for Ohbiki, who could only strike out to strand the runners.

Josh Lueke came in to stink things up in the 8th. A walk for Toritani was followed by a hit Arai and two men were on with an out yet to be registered. A sac bunt followed for out number one before a pinch-hit Kanoh single to right tied things up at 8-8. Lueke was done, with Ondrusek coming in with men on the corners, and he delivered, striking out both Fukudome and Gomez to end the inning with the score tied.

A gutsy top of the 9th from Logan kept things level for the Swallows, giving them the opportunity to strike against notoriously wobbly Tigers “star” Fujikawa in the bottom of the frame. And Hatake was quick to take advantage, doubling down the left field foul line, before transforming into his faster form AKA Miwa.

Yuhei was then intentionally walked which brought up Nishida who successfully laid down a bunt to put two men in scoring positions with one out. Imanami was the man summoned from the bench, and in keeping with his clutch play of recent weeks, he chipped the fourth pitch he saw deep enough to centre to bring home Miwa from third on the sacrifice, and we had ourselves a long, and frankly quite tiring 9-8 Tokyo Final.

Game Notage

  • Davies’ final line: 5 IP | 105 NP | 5 H | 2 HR | 3 BB | 4 ER. Not really good enough, and much like his first start, in which he also threw just north of 100 pitches over 5 innings, we really need more innings than 5 from him. But given the painfully shallow pool that is our starting pitching at this current time, let’s hope he can improve on that front in his future starts. Hey, he was much better than Perez. So there’s that.
  • Thank a thousand fucks for Akiyoshi and Lord Logan of Ondrusek. Both mopped up their predecessors messes perfectly and tossed their own quality innings to boot. Props fellas, props.
  • Balentien was (obviously) pretty huge in this one, 2 HR, 5 RBI. And boy those homers were monstrous. He is now at 14 long balls for the year, just one behind Yamada.
  • Tonight was Hatakeyama’s 1000th game as a pro (the 476th player to reach the landmark) and he celebrated by going 3 for 4 with a walk and 1 RBI.
  • Yamada and Kawabata also managed two hits each, and are now batting .331 and .300 respectively.
  • Tokyo now lead the season series 5-4.
  • Your Swallows are still playing 6th Place Baseball™.
  • Tomorrow’s rubber game will see the teams send their respective aces to the mound, so it’ll be Ogawa vs. Fujinami.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD’S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • 5-4-1 by my count – though who needs ties?

    • What are these ties of which you speak?

      • Didn’t we tie on March 31 in your barn?