Jun 10th 2016, @ Chiba

June 10th, 2016

Chiba lotteTokyo Swallows 7TS Logo 150x transparent

Chiba Lotte Marines 6

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLWLW

(QVC Marine Stadium)

Tonight was a battle between two big names, Ogawa for the Swallows and Wakui for the Marines, who didn’t notch a win during the entire month of May.

 12345678910RHE
Tokyo04010010017101
Chiba0300000030671
W: Ondrusek (3-1 9S)
L: Nishino (3-4 13S)
S: Akiyoshi (3-3 1S)

 Tokyo Chiba
1Ohbiki (SS)1Kato (CF)
2Sakaguchi (LF)2Takahama (3B)
3Yamada (2B)3Kakunaka (LF)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Despaigne (DH)
5Kawabata (3B)5Navarro (2B)
6Balentien (DH)6Iguchi (1B)
7Yuhei (RF)7Suzuki (SS)
8Nakamura (C)8Kiyota (RF)
9Jae-Hoon (CF)9Tamura (C)
SPOgawa (P)SPWakui (P)
RPOndrusek (R), Akiyoshi (R)RPMinami (R), Matsunaga (R), Nishino (R)

After both sides went hitless in the first, Tokyo opened the scoring with what turned into a big inning in the second.

Hatakeyama set the tone with a single to left, and he made it to third on Iguchi’s fielding error at first on Kawabata’s grounder. With runners on the corners, Balentien flied out to left, but it was more than enough for Hatake to tag up and waddle home from third.

Yuhei forced Kawabata into out number two, but Nakamura kept Tokyo alive with a single.

Then Jae-Hoon doubled a Wakui cutter to the fence in center-left. Two runs scored.

Eight pitches later, Jae-Hoon crossed home plate on Ohbiki’s double.

4-0 Tokyo

But Chiba came roaring back in the bottom of the inning. A single and HBP with one out (Iguchi took one in the left forearm and had to be removed from the game) were followed by a Suzuki double (two RBI) and a Tamura triple (1 RBI).

4-3 Tokyo

Yuhei didn't have the best night on defense, but he made up for it at the plate.

Yuhei didn’t have the best night on defense, but he made up for it at the plate.

But Ogawa allowed just one hit and a walk over the next six frames.

Meanwhile, Tokyo added a run in the fourth care of Yuhei’s solo shot, his fifth of the season.

5-3 Tokyo

And one more in the seventh when Yamada singled and stole second, then moved over to third on Kawabata’s ground out to first. He scored on Balentien’s sac fly to center, his second of the game.

6-3 Tokyo

But you didn’t think that it would be that easy, did you?

Ondrusek took the mound for the bottom of the ninth and all hell promptly broke loose.

Kakunaka drew a 10-pitch walk to get things started, and Despaigne followed with a single to center. Navarro popped out to left, but Kakunaka scored from second on Hosoya’s single to right. Yuhei’s throw home was a bit wide of the mark, and the runners were safe at first and second.

Suzuki moved the runners over with a ground out to second, and then Tamura plated them both with a floater to left that Yuhei underestimated and saw drift right over his meaty head.

6-6

But with a little help from the home side, your birds quickly crafted another run.

Balentien popped out to start, but Yuhei made partial amends for his blunder-filled ninth with a single to left.

He ended up stealing second during Nakamura’s at-bat, but it just so happened that it was a wild pitch and Yuhei was able to head to third.

On the very next pitch, the squeeze was on, and Yuhei snuck home from third.

7-6 Tokyo

Akiyoshi took the mound hoping to snag his first save since 2014. He had five that year, in case you’re wondering.

He got a quick groundout and then struck Kakunaka out on three pitches.

He stayed outside on Despaigne, but Chiba’s cleanup man was not interested in being walked and ended up flying out in foul territory to end it.

7-6 FINAL

Ogawa didn’t get the win, but we’ll definitely take it. Your birds showed some good fight, and when all is said and done I think it’s more than fair to say that Tokyo deserved the W today.

Ogawa threw 105 pitches over eight innings and allowed three runs, all earned and all in the second inning. Surprisingly, he only allowed four hits and two free bases (BB, HBP) while striking out six. Quality start, yes, but still chasing his first victory since April 30th.

Tomorrow’s game starts at 2 PM, and

**Game notes:

  • Yuhei ended up getting game MVP honors thanks to his roller coaster game which started and ended on the right note. He was 3-5 at the plate this evening.
  • Balentien’s two sac flies helped him tie Yamada for the league RBI lead (48). He also walked once.
  • Nakamura also deserves some love. He was 2-3 with a couple of high-quality bunts including the squeeze that scored the winning run.
  • After tonight’s win, your birds are now eight games behind the first place Carp.
  • Tokyo is second in the Central in runs scored (289) but first in runs allowed (324).

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini