May 28th, 2016
Chunichi Dragons 6
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWWLW
The good guys prevailed after a long-winded seesaw battle down in Nagoya.
|W: Muranaka (1-1 2.73 ERA); L: Fuku (1-1 4.99 ERA); S: Kyuko (0-0 1S 3.75 ERA)|
Every Swallows starter not named Balentien or Yamanaka reached base safely at least once in this afternoon’s contest.
|1||Ohbiki (SS)||1||Oshima (CF)|
|2||Sakaguchi (CF)||2||Araki (2B)|
|3||Yamada (2B)||3||Nanita (LF)|
|4||Balentien (LF)||4||Viciedo (1B)|
|5||Kawabata (3B)||5||Hirata (RF)|
|6||Hatakeyama (1B)||6||Dononue (SS)|
|7||Iihara (RF)||7||Kamezawa (3B)|
|8||Nakamura (C)||8||Katsura (C)|
|9||Yamanaka (RHP)||9||Jordan (LHP)|
|RP||Akiyoshi (R), Lueke (R), Ondrusek (R), Muranaka (R), Kyuko (L)||RP||Okada (L), Sobue (R), Achira (R), Ogawa (L), Tajima (R), Fuku (L)|
Everything clicked by pretty smoothly during the first five innings. The Swallows stranded a couple of runners in the second and third and were also guilty of a couple of unforced errors on offense (ie. bunting into a double play in the top of the fifth. Chunichi loaded the bases in the fourth with no outs but Yamanaka wiggled free without surrendering even one run.
Tokyo started the scoring in the top of the sixth. Yamada led off with a single and stole second on the first pitch of Balentien’s at-bat. He then touched up and grabbed another base on Coco’s pop-up to right. Kawabata drew a walk, and Hatakeyama drove a Jordan changeup to the wall in right which was good enough for a double and one RBI.
But Chunichi soon answered with a vengeance. Nanita singled for the second time today, and Viciedo then got plunked hard enough to be removed from the game. Hirata doubled in a run, and one out later Kamezawa singled in two.
The visitors conjured an answer of their own in the seventh, and it all started with everyone’s favorite Daddy-Long-Legs of an outfielder, Hiyane. With Okada now on the mound, Hiyane worked the 1-1 pitch into right field for a double. Hirata’s terrible throw gave Hiyane time to take an extra base, and Okada responded by walking Ohbiki.
In each of his three previous at-bats, Sakaguchi came to the plate having just watched Ohbiki make it to first base. And each time, Sakaguchi lit a red lamp. The fourth time was different, however, and Guchi lined the 1-0 pitch to right. Hiyane scored from third.
Two outs later, Tokyo had runners on the corners again. Kawabata kept the pressure on Okada and lined the first pitch he saw to left. Ohbiki scored from third.
Two pitches later, Hatake smacked a 1-0 heater to left which scored Yamada from second.
Good-bye, Mr. Okada. Welcome to the game, Mr. Sobue.
With runners on first and second, Imanami (pinch-hitting for Iihara) caused an E4, and Kawabata was able to score from second.
Tokyo stranded a couple more runners in the eighth, and Hirata manufactured one run when he took Lueke yard with two outs.
Tokyo added an insurance run in the ninth when Yuhei scored from first on Nakamura’s double with two outs.
But the bad guys were able to put together two runs from three hits and a sac fly with Tokyo closer, Ondrusek, on the mound.
Chunichi had two on an no outs in the bottom of the 10th, but they couldn’t create a run against Muranaka (failed sac bunt attempt).
Tokyo’s offense put the game away in the top of the 11th with one hell of a two-out rally.
Takeuchi drew his second walk of the game, and then Fuku allowed a single to Yuhei, a bases clearing double to Nakamura, and a lovely RBI Hiyane triple.
With order restored, Kyuko allowed one hit in the bottom of the 11th, but he got out of the inning on 12 pitches and recorded his first save of the season.
He didn’t factor into the decision, but Yamanaka threw 86 pitches over six innings. He allowed three earned runs from seven hits, one strikeout, one walk, and one HBP.
Game three of this series is tomorrow afternoon starting at 2 PM. Tokyo’s Hara will take the mound against Yoshimi.