September 14th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 3
Streak: W1 Last 5: LWLLW
|W: Ishikawa (7-8; 4.39 ERA)
7.2 IP | 86 NP | 3 H | 3 K | 1 BB | 0 ER
L: Inoh (7-11; 3.50 ERA)
S: Akiyoshi (17 S ; 2.33 ERA)
A classic Ishikawa-at-home performance helped keep the Swallows in the race for third, albeit by their fingernails, as they moved 3.5 games behind Yokohama with 8 games to play.
|1||Kuwahara (CF)||1||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|2||Aranami (RF)||2||Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Lopez (1B)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|4||Tsutsugoh (LF)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|5||Miyazaki (3B)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|6||Elian (2B)||6||Ugumori (1B)|
|7||Kuramoto (SS)||7||Nishiura (SS)|
|8||Tobashia (C)||8||Nakamura (C)|
|9||Inoh (P)||9||Ishikawa (P)|
0.1 IP | 0 ER
1 IP | 2 ER
The red-hot Balentien gave the Swallows the lead in the bottom of the 2nd, hitting his 30th dinger of the season to left, 1-0 Tokyo.
That lead was extended further in the 5th. After a Sakaguchi single and a Kakawaba walk put two on to lead off the inning, Yuhei came to the plate with the runners now in scoring positions with two outs on the board. After fouling off seven pitches, he lined the eleventh pitch of a superb at-bat to left to score two runs for 3-1.
Ishikawa meanwhile dominated the BayStars, allowing just two hits through the first seven innings. The only pinch of note coming in the 4th, when with Tsusugoh (double) on third with two outs, Yuhei made an excellent sliding catch for the final out to keep the ‘Stars off the board.
Masanori departed the game in the 8th with two outs on the board and a man on second, with Lueke coming in to strike out Kuwahara swinging to keep Ishikawa’s slate clean for the evening.
Yokohama’s belatedly threatened in the top of the 9th with Akiyoshi on the mound. After Aranami had struck out for out number one, Lopez came up to bat. The second pitch of the at-bat (an inside sinker) made contact with Lopez’s bat as he attempted to check his swing, after which he then pointed to his elbow pad and gestured to the home-plate ump that it had hit him, and was duly ushered to first. Once a Giant always a Giant huh.
He would subsequently score on an Elian single (following a Tsustugo double which put men on second and third) but thankfully Akiyoshi took out Kuramoto swinging to give us a “lying-cheats should never prosper” 3-2 Tokyo Final.
Tokyo Run-in (8 to play)
9/16: @ Tokyo Dome
9/17: @ Tokyo Dome
9/18: Jingu, vs Chunichi
9/22: @ Yokohama
9/24: @ Hiroshima
9/25: @ Hiroshima
9/27: @ Koshien
9/28: Jingu, vs Yokohama
Yokohama Run-in (9 to play)
9/15: @ Koshien
9/16: @ Koshien
9/17: @ Koshien
9/18: Yokohama, vs Hiroshima
9/19: Yokohama, vs Hiroshima
9/22: Yokohama, vs Tokyo
9/23: @ Tokyo Dome
9/24: Yokohama, vs Yomiuri
9/28: @ Jingu
So there you have it, 3.5 games back, only 2 remaining out of 8 at home. Yeah, probably not going to happen is it? Ah well, it’s not over ’til it’s over and all that. Here’s hoping that that final game of the season is a winner-takes-all showdown.