October 7th, 2008
Chunichi Dragons 1
Tokyo Swallows 17
Streak: W2 Last 5: WDLWW
Chunichi came to Jingu for their final matchup with the Swallows of 2008 on the back of a 7 game winning streak, which had seen them secure the 3rd and final CL playoff position at Hiroshima’s expense this last weekend. Well, that streak was smashed into little pieces by a Tokyo side who registered their biggest win of the season, teeing off on the Dragons pitching to the sum of 16 hits and 17 runs.
Tateyama started and was his usual reliable self, pitching 7 innings of five hit, one run baseball while striking out seven and walking none for the win. His record now stands at 12 wins and 3 losses with an ERA of 2.993 in 2008.
Tokyo’s bats got on top of Chunichi starter Ogasawara from the bottom of the 1st inning. Noguchi, being give a rare chance at third in the absence of the injured Miyamoto, hit a triple and next man Aoki brought him home on a sac-fly for 0-1.
Three more runs were added in the 2nd, as Ihara was hit by a pitch and Tanaka doubled before shortstop Kawabata brought them all home with a blast into the rightfield stands, 0-4 Tokyo.
That four run lead became five in the 3rd, with a solo homer from Noguchi making it 0-5.
Chunichi scored their only run of the evening in the 4th, before Yakult blew the doors off in the 7th. Hits from Kawamoto, Fukuchi, Noguchi, Aoki and Tanaka helped to score five in the inning and extend the lead to 1-10.
But they weren’t done yet, as they added seven more runs in the 8th off Chunichi reliever Kobayashi. A three run homer from Fukuchi did most of the damage, followed by hits from Kajimoto, Ihara and Tanaka to make it 1-14. An error by Dragons centrefielder Koike on a routine flyball from Kawabata allowed two more to score and made it 1-16. Kawamoto brought one more runner home to bring the scoring to an end at 1-17.
After Kida had pitched a hitless 8th in relief, Yoshikawa came in for the 9th with probably the largest lead of his career. But he was hit just below the left knee by a sharp drive up the middle from Hirata, which he managed to field for the first out of the inning. He had to be helped from the field in visible pain – hopefully nothing too serious. Matsui then came in and got the final two outs and that was that. 1-17 final.
Noguchi was the star with the bat for the Swallows, just missing hitting for the cycle by a double as he brought home three runs in the game. Fukuchi, Aoki and Kawabata also had three RBI nights, Tanaka had two and Kawamoto just the one.
The season series between the teams ended with 13 wins to Yakult, 9 to Chunichi with 2 ties. This is the first time in four years they have taken the season series against the Dragons.
Tokyo continues it’s rainout make-up game schedule tomorrow evening at Jingu against the Yokohama BayStars.