June 25th 2016, vs Chunichi

June 25th, 2016

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 9TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 13

Streak: Won 2      Last 5: WWLWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo resumed Central League hostilities last night firmly in sixth place. Ogawa came up with a deserved win, and Tokyo came away with a comfortable 5-1 victory.

With yet another miserable Interleague campaign firmly in the rearview, it was Davies turn to try and earn a fourth Swallows win in its last five attempts.

Two key questions:
1. Could Davies consistently hit his spots?
2. Could the outfielders keep the ball in front of them this time?

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W: Davies (2-1);
L: Jordan (4-3)

No major changes to the lineup other than that Yuhei and Balentien switched spots in the lineup.

 Dragons Swallows
1José Hernandez (2B)1Keiji Obiki (SS)
2 Yohei Oshima (CF)2Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)
3Ryosuke Hirata (RF)3Shingo Kawabata (3B)
4Dayan Viciedo (1B)4Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
5Ricardo Nanita (LF)5Wladimir Balentien (LF)
6Fukuda (3B)6Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
7Naomichi Donoue (SS)7Akihisa Nishida (1B)
8Katsura (C)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Jordan (LHP)9Davies (RHP)

Davies gave up three consecutive singles to start the game and then struck Viciedo out swinging on a heavy diet of 85 mph sliders. Out number two came on a sac fly to left that scored Hernandez from third. Nanita popped up to first base to end the threat.

Indeed, Davies was probably fortunate to only surrender one.

0-1 Chunichi

But then Yamada made it all right.

With one out, Sakaguchi singled and Kawabata drew a walk.

Then Yamada clubbed a 2-2 Jordan heater high into the left field stands. Number 25 this year.

3-1 Tokyo

Davies posted two scoreless innings after that, and Tokyo then went to work on Jordan for a final time.

Ohbiki led off with a solo home run on a full count fastball. Number three of the season.

Sakaguchi followed by recording his second single of the game (both to center field), and Jordan decided to steer clear of Yamada the second time around. Five pitch walk.

Balentien then hit an opposite field home run on Jordan’s 1-0 heater. Number 16 this year.

7-1 Tokyo

Fukuda hit a solo shot at the start of the fourth inning, but that was all the Dragons could come up with.

7-2 Tokyo

With Mutoh now on the mound for the visitors, Ohbiki and Sakaguchi got on to start the bottom of that frame, and even though Kawabata grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, Ohbiki scored from third on Yamada’s single to right.

Balentien and Yuhei both singled to load the bases after that, but Nishida popped up in foul territory behind first base to strand all three.

By the way, Ohbiki stole second just before Sakaguchi drew his walk. It was his seventh steal of the season.

8-2 Tokyo

Hernandez got another one back at the start of the fifth when he took Davies deep on an elevated 3-2 heater.

8-3 Tokyo

Davies started the sixth by again allowing a solo home run, this time to Nanita. It was the third inning in a row that Davies gave up a homer to the lead batter.

8-4 Tokyo

Davies started the seventh, but was yanked immediately after Kamezawa whacked a pinch-hit single.

Lueke took his place with no outs and a runner on first. Despite Nakamura allowing one through the wickets which advanced the runner, Lueke got out of the inning without any further damage.

Tokyo added to the lead in the bottom of the seventh.

With Nishida (single) and Iihara (walk) on first and second, Ohbiki came up with his fourth hit of the game and Araki (pinch-running for Nishida) scored from second.

Sakaguchi then hit a fly ball to left that Nanita caught pretty shallow, but he was too confident that Iihara would stay put on third.

Iihara didn’t.

Nanita caught the ball too casually to be in a position to throw, so Iihara made it home without incident.

Ohbiki then scored from second on Kawabata’s single to center.

11-4 Tokyo

Hirai pitched an eventful but ultimately scoreless top of the eighth, and your birds manufactured a couple more runs shortly thereafter.

Balentien started things off with a single, and Hiyane came in to scamper for him. He ended up scoring from second on Nakamura’s double to the wall in left-center.

Then Nakamura scored on Tanaka’s pinch-hit grounder that took a wild hop over the left shoulder of Fukuda at third base. It was Tanaka’s 25th at-bat of the season, and his first RBI.

13-4

On to garbage time. Matsuoka pitched a long-winded top of the ninth. He got some payback for yesterday’s plunking of Yamada when he located the small of Araki’s back, but he also allowed four runs from three hits, a walk, and one HBP.

Matsuoka got the hook with two outs and Akiyoshi was forced to come in and finish out the inning. Ondrusek also had to start warming up. Thank you so much, Mr. Matsuoka.

Akiyoshi allowed a hit which scored a fifth run of the inning (credited to Matsuoka), but the game ended when Donoue grounded one weakly to first on a check swing.

13-9 FINAL

Tomorrow’s game starts at 1 PM with Sugiura pitching for the Swallows against Chunichi’s Yoshimi.

**Game Notes:

  • Davies made Viciedo, one of Chunichi’s best hitters, look silly today. He struck him out swinging all three times the two faced each other. Eight of the nine strikes were whifs, and Viciedo didn’t get his bat on the ball even once.
  • Ohbiki finished the game a triple shy of the cycle.
  • Yamada’s single in the fourth, which brought home run number eight, was the first time all game the Swallows hadn’t resorted to the long ball.
  • Including today, Davies has given up exactly four earned runs three starts running. That said, he got the win, his second of the season. He also made it through six full innings, his best effort since his first win of the season on May 31st (6.1 innings).
  • Davies threw 94 pitches through 6 0/3 innings. He allowed eight hits (three solo homers), struck out six, and walked one.
  • Your birds collected 20 total hits today!
  • Ohbiki finished with four hits and two RBI.
  • Yamada and Balentien had three hits each. Both ripped three run jacks but Yamada pipped Balentien’s RBI total with a run-scoring single.

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