September 9th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 2
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
This was a tricky one. Beat the Giants and hand the Carp their first CL Pennant in 25 years on their day off. Lose to the Giants and let the Carp celebrate the pennant victory at Gomiuri’s Tokyo Dome this weekend. Hard to decide which would be better, really.
|W: Otake (6-4; 3.25 ERA)
L: Davies (4-4; 4.27 ERA)
It sort of looked like Tokyo starter, Davies, was hoping for the latter. That first inning was certainly one to forget.
|1||Chono (CF)||1||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|2||Kamei (RF)||2||Kawabata (3B)|
|3||Garrett (LF)||3||Yamada (2B)|
|4||Abe (1B)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|5||Murata (3B)||5||Yuhei (RF)|
|6||Cruz (2B)||6||Nishiura (SS)|
|7||Tsuji (SS)||7||Araki (1B)|
|8||Kobayashi (C)||8||Nishida (C)|
|9||Otake (RHP)||9||Davies (RHP)|
First pitch of the game, boom. Chono solo homer to center field.
Kamei followed with a single, and one out later Abe singled as well.
Murata then cleared the bases with a homer to left.
We may need to stop praising people on the Tokyo Swallows Podcast. Everyone we said nice things about in our most recent episode has been lousy this week.
Your Birds threatened in the third, loading the bases with one out. But Otake gloved a Balentien come-backer which enabled a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.
Davies was replaced in the fourth by Nakazawa who allowed a Kamei solo shot which put the Giants up five.
But still, if it wasn’t for that first inning, the Giants would have won this game because Balentien made amends for that big-inning killer earlier. He hit a solo home run in both the sixth and ninth innings. They were his 27th and 28th home runs of the season. The one in the sixth was a chip shot that he didn’t really get much wood on but left the park anyway due to how powerful the man is. The homer in the ninth was never in doubt.
Not a very inspiring performance from the Swallows, but at least we can take solace in the fact that the Giants are likely to play host to Hiroshima’s championship celebration. That should be delightfully embarrassing for the Central League’s most expensive team!
Tokyo’s home game tomorrow is against fifth place Hanshin. If Tokyo hopes to make the playoffs, then it can’t really lose more than a few games between now and the end of the season.