August 3rd, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 6
Streak: Won 1 Last 9: WLLLLLLLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Matsuoka (2-1 ; 3.63 ERA)
L: Hagens (5-2 ; 2.31)
S: Akiyoshi (9 S ; 2.06)
Ladies and Gentlemen, are you ready for this? Ahem. The Swallows won a game of baseball this evening. I know right?
|1||Tanaka (SS)||1||Ohbiki (SS)|
|2||Kikuchi (2B)||2||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|3||Maru (CF)||3||Imanami (3B)|
|4||Arai (1B)||4||Yamada (2B)|
|5||Suzuki (RF)||5||Balentien (LF)|
|6||Shimozuru (LF)||6||Nishida (C)|
|7||Abe (3B)||7||Nishiura (3B)|
|8||Aizawa (C)||8||Yamasaki (RF)|
|9||Kuri (SP)||9||Ogawa (SP)
5.2 IP | 98 NP | 5 H | 4 K | 3 BB | 4 ER
0.1 IP | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 ER
Coming into tonight’s game, Tokyo were mired in a season’s worst 7 game losing streak. And during those 7 games they had been outscored by a jaw-dropping 62-14. But tonight would be different.
After an Arai single and Abe triple put the Carp up 1-0 in the top of the 2nd against Tokyo starter Ogawa, the birds leveled things in the bottom of the frame as Nishida hit his sixth homer of the season. 1-1.
Tokyo then proceeded to take their first lead in a game since last Thursday in the 3rd. Ogawa got things started with a double to centre, and walks for Ohbiki and Yamada then loaded the bases with two outs for Balentien. Coco obliged by hitting one into the gap in right to bring home two runs to make it 3-1 Tokyo.
A solo home run in the 5th from Aizawa pulled Hiroshima to within a run, 3-2, and they went into the lead for the first time in the top of the 6th as a Maru two-run shot turned the tables for 4-3 Hiroshima as it looked like the run-away CL leaders would once more have their way with the Swallows. Two more walks from Ogawa meant he was given the hook with two outs and two men on, with Hirai coming in to get the final out of the inning.
The Swallows would draw level again in the bottom of the inning. After Coco doubled to lead off the inning, Nishida hit a sharp grounder to third which was excellently snagged by a diving Abe, but he muffed the throw to first, meaning the Swallows now had men on the corners with no outs on the error. Nishiura then grounded out to second, but it was enough to bring home the tying run for 4-4.
And so to the decisive bottom of the 7th inning. With reliever Hagens on the mound, Ohbiki got on board with a lead-off single. Hagens then overcooked a pick-off attempt to first, allowing Ohbiki to scamper to second on the Carp’s second error of the game. After Sakaguchi and Imanami then grounded out and struck out respectively to put two outs on the board, up stepped Tetsuto Yamada, who else, to smack the first pitch he saw from Hagens into the left field stands (31 for the season) to send at least half of the 30,767 people packed into Jingu wild, making it 6-4 Tokyo.
And that was pretty much that. With the relief trio of Matsuoka, Lueke, and Akiyoshi pitching three innings of perfect baseball, we had ourselves a “oh, I remember this feeling” 6-4 Tokyo Final.
Tomorrow will see the Swallows attempt to form their first win streak of the month, as Yoshinori returns to the Jingu mound once more to face a team other than Chunichi for the first time. He’ll be facing Fukui.