Aug 28th 2016, @ Hanshin

Aug 28th 2016

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 5Clean Hanshin Tigers Logo

Hanshin Tigers 2

Streak: Won 5 Last 5: WWWWW

(Koshien Stadium)

Your Birds returned to Koshien for the first time since the end of July when they were blown out in three straight games. This time they returned the favor.

 123456789RHR
Tokyo000030000391
Hanshin100000000172
W: Yamanaka (6-9; 3.26 ERA)
L: Iwasada (5-9; 3.66 ERA)

It wasn’t a blowout, but a sweep is a sweep. The Swallows compiled a 5-1 record against Hanshin this month.

 Tokyo Hanshin
1Sakaguchi (CF)1Uemoto (3B)
2Araki (1B)2Hojo (SS)
3Yamada (2B)3Takayama (LF)
4Balentien (LF)4Fukudome (RF)
5Ugumori (1B)5Gomez (1B)
6Nishiura (SS)6Shibata (CF)
7Yachi (3B)7Yamato (2B)
8Nishida (C)8Sakamoto (C )
9Yamanaka (SP)9Iwasada (SP)

Tokyo is now in sole possession of fourth place in the Central League. They trail Yokohama by 2.5 games with a month left in the season.

Will the starting pitching continue to improve? If so, then you can’t deny that the team has a chance, especially in this year’s Central League where the only team of consequence is Hiroshima.

Tonight’s starter, Yamanaka, had himself another excellent game. He threw 117 pitches and allowed just seven hits and one run. He also struck out three and walked none while going the distance. His ERA improved to 3.26.

Hanshin actually struck first in this contest. A leadoff double and a sac bunt put Uemoto on third with one out, and Takayama hit a sac fly to center to plate Hanshin’s only run of the evening.

0-1 Hanshin

Tokyo got two runners on base in the second, third, and fourth innings but stranded all six. They finally manufactured a big inning in the fifth when Balentien hit a single with one away and two men on. One out later Nishiura hit a single to left that scored too more.

3-1 FINAL

And that was it. Yamanaka finished strong, and never got himself in any serious trouble the rest of the way.

Balentien was the main weapon on offense again tonight. He was 3-4 with three outfield singles and one RBI. Nishiura also had a good game. He was 2-4 with two RBI (plus one extra time on base thanks to an error).

On Tuesday, Yomiuri host a home-away-from-home game in Fukui against the Swallows. Sugiura will pitch for the Swallows against Yomiuri’s Sugano.

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