4/23/11 – Hiroshima (Away)

April 23rd, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 6

Streak: Tied 1      Last 5: WWWWD

(Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium)

The Swallows managed to eke out a tied in a game they had no business winning.

 Swallows Carp
1CF Aoki1SS Soyogi
22B Tanaka22B Ishii
3LF Fukuchi3RF Hirose
41B Hatakeyama43B Tracy
5C Aikawa51B Kurihara
6RF Balentien6RF Iwamoto
73B Miyamoto7CF Maru
8SS Kawabata8C Kura
9P Takaichi9P Nakata

Both pitchers were making their first starts of the season.

 

Takaichi had a nightmare start

The Swallows’ managed to score without a hit in the first inning. Tanaka drew a 1 out walk which was followed by a grounder to first by Fukuchi. Fortunately Kurihara screwed up the throw and it was 1 out with men on the corners. Fukuchi subsequently stole his league leading 6th base of the season to put both runners in scoring position. Hatakeyama launched a fly ball into center allowing Tanaka to tag up and score. 1-0 Swallows

The bottom of the inning starts off ominously, as Soyogi manages a double after battling Takaichi for 8 pitches. Ishii dutifully bunted Soyogi over to third, and Hirose dropped the first pitch he faced into center field to score Soyogi. Hirose stole second to put more pressure on Takaichi, but he managed to escape the inning without further damage. Tied 1-1

The Swallows got men on base in both the second and third innings, but couldn’t get a man across home. In the bottom of the third, the Carp lead off the inning with their pitcher, Nakata. Nakata managed to leg out an infield single, which marked the beginning of Takaichi’s nightmare inning. Takaichi did manage to get Soyogi to ground into a fielder’s choice for the Carp’s first out. But Takaichi allowed Soyogi to advance to second on a wild pitch. Ishii found a pitch to hit among Takaichi’s increasingly erratic repertoire, which put men on the corners with 1 out. Takaichi walked Hirose on just 5 pitches to load the bases for Chad Tracy. Tracy battles Takaichi for 7 pitches and wins by doubling to right which allowed 2 runners to score. Kurihara ended Takaichi’s night with an RBI single to left. Hashimoto came into spell Takaichi and face the lefty Iwamoto. Iwamoto fouled off seemingly every strike Hashimoto had to throw at him, and finally took the tenth pitch he saw into right from a double to score Tracy from third base. Hashimoto did manage to get Maru to strikeout, but he didn’t help his cause any when he walked Kura on four straight pitches to load the bases to bring up Nakata for the second time in the inning. Nakata decided to pour salt on the Swallows’ wounds by poking the first pitch he saw to left  field to score the Carp’s fifth run of the inning. Soyogi decided to give Hashimoto a break by grounding out to end the inning. 6-1 Carp

The Swallows got one back in the top of the fourth. Miyamoto and Kawabata got a one-out double and single, respectively, to put men on the corners. Yuichi, pinch-hitting for Hashimoto, got Miyamoto across the plate with a grounder to first. With two out and Kawabata on second, Aoki wasn’t able to break out of his recent funk. 6-2 Carp

Oshimoto was brought into pitch from the fourth, and despite giving up 2 hits managed to keep the Carp off the board.

Tanaka lead off the fifth with a single to center. Fukuchi followed with a fielder’s choice for the first out, but he managed to redeem himself a little by stealing second to make it 1 out with a fast man on second. Fukuchi came around to score when Hatake belted a double to left. Aikawa quickly ground out for out #2 but the Swallows weren’t quite done. Hatakeyama was allowed to advance to third on a balk, and Balentien made Nakata pay by hitting a double to left. Balentien scored one pitch later when Miyamoto smoked a ball off the left field fence for another double. The Swallows managed to get Kawabata and Oshimoto on via walk and error to load the bases for Aoki, but again Aoki wasn’t able to rise to the occasion. 6-5 Carp

Oshimoto pitched another clean inning in the fifth, and Barnette was effective in both the sixth and seventh. The Swallows threatened a bit in the seventh by getting men on second and third with one out, but couldn’t cash in either runner. Matsuoka pitched the eighth and despite giving up a hit and walk managed to keep the Carp from extending the lead.

Down 1 run in the top of the ninth it looked like the Swallows’ winning streak would come to an end. Aikawa struck out for out #1. But the next batter up, Balentien, took Dennis Safarte long to tie the game. Miyamoto and Kawabata couldn’t do anything to take the lead but at least the Swallows clawed back to a tie. Lim was brought in to preserve the tie, and he pitched a perfect ninth. Tied 6-6

The Swallows are now undefeated in 6 games, and the team will be looking to win the series outright tomorrow starting at 13:30. Masubuchi is the probable starter.

Notes

  • Takaichi’s Line: 2 and 1/3 innings pitched, 14 batters faced, 7 hits allowed, 1 walk allowed, 0 strike outs,  5 runs allowed, 5 earned runs allowed. Not pretty.
  • Every Carp starter managed at least 1 hit for the day.
  • At 4 hours and 11 minutes, this game was the longest in the Central League this year.
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.