8/21/10 – Chunichi (Away)

August 21st, 2010

Chunichi Dragons 3

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LWWWL

(Nagoya Dome)

With a .500 record on the line, Nakazawa and the Swallows aren’t able to take home the win in a tough luck loss to the Dragons.

The Swallows started their usual lineup of:

  1. Aoki CF
  2. Tanaka 2B
  3. Iihara RF
  4. Whitesell 1B
  5. Hatakeyama LF
  6. Aikawa C
  7. Miyamoto 3B
  8. Kawabata SS
  9. Nakazawa P

The Swallows got things going in the first inning with an Aoki single, Tanaka bunt, Iihara walk, and Whitesell single to load the bases with 1 out. Hatakeyama struck out looking, but Aikawa managed to get a hit to plate Aoki. Unfortunately any chance to widen the lead was dashed when Iihara got caught at the plate trying to score from second. 1-0 Swallows

Nakazawa, who had been briefly demoted for a string of bad starts, looked good in the first inning. He managed to get the Dragons to go down in order, including strikeouts by Araki and the seemingly always hot Wada.

The top of the second started off with 2 quick outs by Miyamoto and Kawabata. However, Nakazawa kept the inning alive by drawing a walk. Aoki followed with his second single of the night. Tanaka poked a single into right field to score Nakazawa. Like in the first inning, however, the Birds can’t keep the momentum going and the inning ends on an Iihara ground out. 2-0 Swallows

Nakazawa has a mini-melt down in the bottom of the second, costing the Swallows the lead and, as it turns out, the game. Nakazawa started off by surrendering a double to Morino. With one swing of the bat, Tony Blanco ties the game by sending a 1-1 offering from Nakazawa deep into the stands. Still with no outs, Fujii hits a double into left field. Nakazawa finally settles down and manages to get the next three batters. Unfortunately, the consecutive fly balls he got out of Donoue the younger and Oda, advance Fujii each time leading to another run. 3-2 Dragons

From this point, both pitching staffs go into lockdown mode. Nakazawa only allowed a run and a walk the rest of the way. Once he was relieved after 6 innings, both Matsui and Yamagishi pitched perfect innings of relief. The Dragons’ staff was slightly worse, scattering 3 hits and walk over the last 7 innings but the Swallows were unable to capitalize. No runner from either team got beyond first after the second inning. Good to see Nakazawa getting back on track, and seeing relievers like Matsui and Yamagishi some chances and succeeding. Tough loss…

The Swallows face the Dragons in the rubber match of the series in the Nagoya Dome tomorrow at 14:00.

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About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.