July 20th 2016
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Lost 2 Last 5: LLWLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Kumabara (1-0 ; 3.00 ERA )
L: Ogawa (4-4 ; 4.26)
The Swallows had a slender lead early, but let things slip before being eventually undone by a disastrous eighth inning, losing the rubber game of the series thanks in no small part to the red-hot Tsusugo’s second straight two-homer game.
|1||Kuwahara (CF)||1||Ohbiki (SS)|
|2||Elián (3B)||2||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|3||Kajitani (RF)||3||Balentien (LF)|
|4||Tsutsugo (LF)||4||Yamada (2B)|
|5||Lopez (1B)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|6||Kuramoto (SS)||6||Imanami (1B)|
|7||Ishikawa (2B)||7||Nishida (1B)|
|8||Takajoh (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Kumabara (P)||9||Ogawa (P)|
That early lead began in the top of the first against Yokohama starter Kumabara, with two walks and a Yuhei single up the middle just out of the reach of the diving shortstop Kuramoto being good enough for 1-0 Tokyo.
Tokyo starter Ogawa gave up the tying run in the top of the 3rd, two of what would be seven walks for Yasuhiro for the evening and a Lopez fly ball that fell fair in the no-man’s land between the slow as molasses Balentien in left and a scampering infield meant the game was tied at 1-1.
The last lead that the Swallows would enjoy came in the bottom of the 3rd. Sakaguchi made it to second on a throwing error by the pitcher, advanced to third on a Coco fly-out to right, before being brought home by a Yamada chip shot to centre. 2-1 Tokyo.
After that, despite Tokyo creating chances of their own which they couldn’t convert, it was all Yokohama.
A double and single in the 4th tied things up at 2-2, and a no-doubt solo short from Tsusugo to right in the 5th made it 3-2 Yokohama.
And that one run BayStars lead remained until the wheels truly fell off the Swallows train in the 8th. With Hirai on the mound for the birds, a couple of singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs for Elián and, not for the first time this season, he punished the Swallows with a double to left which cleared the bases. 6-2.
Hirai was yanked, Perez was summoned, but the shit show was not done yet. Kajitani singled in the seventh run, 7-2, before Tsutsugo blasted his fourth long ball in two nights just left of the right field foul pole which thankfully brought a end to the Swallows suffering with a shit sandwich of a 9-2 Yokohama Final.
- Ogawa’s final line: 5.1 IP | 103 NP | 5 H | 5 K | 7 BB | 3 ER. He’s no ace no more.
- Naruse relieved Ogawa with the bases loaded and one out in the 6th. He got Elián to fly out to the infleid for out number two, before mere inches separated Kajitani from a grand slam to right as it kept just to the right side of the foul pole. Naruse then induced another infield fly ball to escape the inning.
- Muranaka pitched a one-hit scoreless 7th, and managed to get the only out of Tsutsugo of the evening (who went 2 for 3 with two walks), striking him out looking which induced the most emotion I think I’ve ever seen from Kyohei.
- It was cheap beer night once more at Jingu, and again almost 30,000 folks came out to get pissed and go home disappointed.
- Tokyo now get a day off before three straight road series, at Nagoya, Koshien, and the Stain Dome. Let the “fun and games” continue.