October 1st, 2008
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 3
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 13
Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LLLWW
Don’t call it a comeback.
Another hiccup for Hiroshima at the hands of Tokyo as the Swallows put up another big mid-game inning and walked all over the visitors.
Hiroshima scored first off of Tokyo starter, Tateyama, when they squeaked in a run in the top of the second. Tokyo leveled it in the bottom of the third on a solo shot to right by Aoki. 1-1.
Tateyama struck out all three batters he faced to start the fourth, and then it got ugly.
Fukuchi drew a walk to start things off. Then Hatakeyama drew a walk. Then Iihara also drew a walk. And then Kajimoto also got a free trip to first base which resulted in Fukuchi, the go-ahead run, waltzing across home plate.
With the bases still loaded, Tanaka laced a single to left that scored two. Then Kawamoto ripped a double that brought one more run around. Tateyama finally provided the first out by politely giving Hiroshima’s first reliever of the inning, Ueno, his only out (he replaced Saito after those four consecutive walks that started the blood-letting…by the way, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before–at least not by one pitcher). Tokyo’s Norichika Aoki kept it going with a single to left that plated two runners, and Kawashima followed that up with a single to center field. Then Fukuchi drew his second walk of the inning (another thing that I’ve never seen before), and Hatakeyama drew a bases loaded plunking from Hiroshima’s second reliever of the inning, Hayato Aoki (there are two pitchers with the surname Aoki on Hiroshima’s first team. The other Aoki from Hiroshima, second year Takahiro Aoki, pitched the sixth and seventh innings). Iihara and Kajimoto both followed with singles that scored a run each which marked the third and fourth players of the inning to reach base twice.
When Tanaka finally grounded into a double play, the birds had scored nine runs.
A few more runs scored (including two for Hiroshima), but that was largely the end of the excitement. Kawamoto had a two run blast in the bottom of the sixth (his 2nd) and was a single shy of hitting for the cycle. Also with three rbi’s on the evening was leadoff hitter Norichika Aoki who went four-for-five. Fukuchi, Hatakeyama and Iihara all reached base three times during this contest, and Kawashima (two hits) and Kajimoto (1 hit, 1 walk) reached base twice.
This was the second game in a row in which Tokyo was able to assemble a huge inning and put the game away early (bunting not included)–more evidence that Takada should have a little more faith in his players (click on that link to read my rant in the comments section) when it’s a tight game or Tokyo is trailing by a few runs.
Tateyama (3.08 ERA) took the win and his record now stands at 11-3. In five innings he gave up three runs off of five hits with five K’s, one walk, and one beanball.
Oshimoto (3.11) pitched the sixth and seventh innings. He faced seven batters and gave up only one hit.
Matsui (3.52) pitched the eighth and Matsuoka (1.51) had two strikeouts in the ninth. This was Oshimoto’s 63rd, and Matsuoka’s 60th, appearance of the season.
Hiroshima will be hosted at Jingu again tomorrow night starting at 6:20 PM. Tokyo still trails third place Chunichi by six games.