Aug 6th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 6
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
After losing seven in a row to their fellow cellar dwellers, your Birds finally figured out the winning combination.
|W: Yamanaka (4-8; 3.67 ERA)
L: Messenger (9-7; 3.12 ERA)
And a big part of it was getting another high-quality start from Tokyo’s most reliable starter.
|1||Shun Takayama (LF)||1||Keiji Obiki (SS)|
|2||Fumiya Araki (2B)||2||Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)|
|3||Takashi Toritani (SS)||3||Takahiro Imanami (1B)|
|4||Kosuke Fukudome (RF)||4||Tetsuto Yamada (2B)|
|5||Fumihito Haraguchi (C)||5||Wladimir Balentien (LF)|
|6||Mauro Gomez (1B)||6||Akihisa Nishida (C)|
|7||Hayata Ito (CF)||7||Naomichi Nishiura (3B)|
|8||Fumiya Hojo (3B)||8||Kotaro Yamasaki (RF)|
|9||Randy Messenger (SP)||9||Hirofumi Yamanaka (SP)|
Tokyo loaded the bases in the first but stranded all three runners to let Messenger off the hook.
But they got to him in a big way in the third, an inning he wouldn’t survive.
Sakaguchi took the bait on the 1-2 pitch but ended up doubling some high heat to the wall in right. Imanami singled two pitches later, putting runners on the corners.
Yamada loaded the bases with a seven pitch walk, and then Balentien did the same on six. That pushed Sakaguchi home from third.
Still no outs.
On the very next pitch, Nishida lined one to left, and Takayama muffed the play which allowed an extra runner to score.
Messenger got out number one on Nishiura’s fly ball to right, but Yamasaki collected his second hit of the season, loading the bases once again.
Yamanaka helped his own cause with a bouncer into right which pushed Balentien home from third, and Ohbiki finished Messenger off with a sac fly to left.
Messenger left the game with runners on first and second, and Shimamoto took his place. Sagaguchi finished what he started by grounding out to second.
Fukudome put some serious dread in the hearts of the home fans two pitches later. He clubbed one to right for Hanshin’s first run.
But fortunately it would be their last.
Yamanaka recorded nine straight outs after that.
Tokyo created an ultimately unnecessary insurance run in the eighth. Yamasaki lined another one to left for his third hit of the season. Yamanaka sac bunted him over to second, and Ohbiki struck out looking. Imanami soon knocked him home from third with an infield single to short.
Yamanaka was huge today. Complete game on 104 pitches and just the one run from six hits (one homer). He struck out three and walked none. Absolutely phenomenal performance.
On offense we saw multi-hit performances from Ohbiki, Imanami, Nishiura, and Yamasaki. Ohbiki was arguably the best of the lot because he added a sac fly.
Yamada and Balentien were hitless but both drew walks in their first two at-bats.
Tomorrow’s game sees Tateyama take the mound for the Swallows. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM.