October 6th, 2008
Hanshin Tigers 1
Tokyo Swallows 3
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWDLW
Tokyo continued to be an irritant to the Tigers as they frustrated Hanshin in their final meeting of the season, a solid start from Ishikawa backed up by the bullpen was enough to see the Swallows prevail.
Ishikawa pitched 6 innings, giving up just the one run off five hits and striking out three.
Yakult took the lead in the bottom of the 1st off Hanshin starter Resop. A Keizo Kawashima single was followed by an Aoki double, with Keizo just beating the tag in a close play at home. After next man up Hatakeyama reached first on an error, Ihara pushed one through the gap between third and short to bring home Aoki to make it 0-2 Yakult.
A solo blast from Kanemoto in the top of the 4th made it 1-2 before the two run lead was restored in the bottom of the inning.
Tanaka singled to start the inning. Then during next man Kawabata’s at-bat, pitcher Resop threw what he though was strike three, but as the batter headed back to the dugout it was called a balk which moved Tanaka to second, and kept Kawabata alive. This proved to be key, as Kawabata then hit a single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Kawamoto struck out which brought up pitcher Ishikawa. Ishikawa hit a groundout to first but it was enough to score Tanaka from third to make it 1-3.
In the top of the 5th, a hit and a Keizo error put runners on the corners with two outs, but Arai struck out to end the threat.
Matsuoka came in for his 62nd appearance of the year in a scoreless 7th, lowering his ERA to 1.442.
Igarashi pitched the 8th, and an rare Aoki fielding error turned a Kanemoto single into a double, but he didn’t allow another sniff and kept the lead at two. His ERA is now 2.531.
And so to the 9th and Lim, who had given up three runs the night before. But tonight he made it look easy, a groundout, flyout and strikeout giving him a 1-2-3 inning and his 31st save of the year. Lim’s ERA is now 3.122.
Ishikawa took the win, leaving his record at 12 wins and 10 losses. His ERA of 2.682 is second lowest in the Central League, behind Hiroshima’s Lewis who is on 2.679.
With the season series now over between the two teams, Hanshin took it with 13 wins to Tokyo’s 10 with 1 tie.
The Swallows now close out their season with Chunichi on Tuesday, Yokohama on Wednesday, a day off Thursday before taking on the Giants Friday and Saturday. Tokyo’s final game is against the Yokohama BayStars on Sunday.