Aug 25th 2016, vs Chunichi

August 25th, 2016

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 9TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 10

Streak: Won 2           Last 5: LLLWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Hold on to your asses because this was a wild one! The ending was especially odd.

 1234567891011RHE
Chunichi001070001009130
Tokyo30000330001x10101
W: Hirai (1-1; 3.48 ERA)
L: Fuku (1-2; 4.78 ERA)

Your crazy Birds prevailed in extra innings to take the series from 6th-placed Chunichi.

 Tokyo Chunichi
1Sakaguchi (CF)1Ohshima (CF)
2Araki (1B)2Araki (2B)
3Yamada (2B)3Hirata (RF)
4Balentien (LF)4Morino (1B)
5Ugumori (RF)5Fukuda (LF)
6 Nishiura (3B)6Takahashi (3B)
7Ohbiki (SS)7Sugiyama (C )
8Nakamura (C)8Donoue (SS)
9Tateyama (SP)9Jordan (SP)

Much like a night prior, Tokyo used the long ball to get ahead early.

Sakaguchi led off with a double, and then Araki once again bunted him over (as he did twice last night).

Yamada then got his first hit since his return from injury, a hard double to left which scored one.

Balentien followed with a two-run homer, his 23rd of the season.

3-0 Tokyo

Chunichi got one back in the top of the third when Hirata singled in Ohshima.

3-1 Tokyo

After that, the Swallows had a hard time knocking Jordan off balance again. They managed just one base runner from the second to the fifth innings (a walk).

Things got truly vile in the top of the fifth. Cover your eyes.

Chunichi batted around and scored seven runs in the process. Put it this way, Tateyama gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases and then beaned Morino to walk in Chunichi’s second run. He followed that up with a two RBI double, and that was it for the veteran.

Iwahashi came in and allowed four more runs to cross home plate thanks in part to a two run dinger.

3-8 Chunichi

But Tokyo fought back in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Araki and Yamada were followed by another Balentien bomb.

6-8 Chunichi

And there was more in the seventh. With two outs, the top of the order went on a tear. Sakaguchi and Araki singled, and Yamada drew a walk. Balentien singled to center which brought the first two runners home.

Ugumori followed with an RBI single of his own to push Tokyo into the lead again.

9-8 Tokyo

And on to the bottom of the ninth.

Akiyoshi came on to close and things got bad pretty quickly. Hirata singled, and then both runners moved into scoring position on Morino’s ensuing double. Akiyoshi tore a page out of Tateyama’s book and beaned a guy to make things interesting, and then Takahashi hit a sac fly to tie the game up at nine.

9-9

On to extra innings.

Chunichi got a guy on in the top of the 11th, but Hirai got out of it unscathed.

Now get this. After those huge and crucial sixth and seventh innings, the offense went on straight auto-pilot. They didn’t get another hit from the eighth until the end of the 11th.

And yet they still won.

Here’s how: a wild pitch.

Miwa led off with a walk without even lifting the bat from his shoulder. He then made it to second on Nishida’s Tak-bunt and third on Sakaguchi’s ground out to second.

Then a wild pitch and game over!

10-9 FINAL

Hirai ended up with the win after facing four batters, his first W of the season.

Davies is slated to pitch tomorrow against Hanshin’s Iwazaki.

**Game Notes:

  • Balentien was HUGE tonight! He was 3-4 with 7 RBI and two homers (numbers 23 and 24 on the season). But he wasn’t the game MVP for some absolutely ridiculous reason.
  • Yamada was 2-4 with an RBI and a walk.
  • 6-9 in the lineup, and everyone who came in to pinch hit for them, failed to record a single hit.
  • Every batter in the 1-4 slots had at least two hits tonight.
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