5/7/11 – Hiroshima (Home)

May 7th, 2011

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Streak: Lost 2      Last 5: WWWLL

(Matsuyama Stadium)


Not a good day to be a starting pitcher in Matsuyama as both starters see their ERA’s skyrocket. Not too many long balls but a lot of doubles make for an exciting game.

The Swallows infielders come to the mound to discuss dinner plans with Nakazawa.


1. Aoki
2. Tanaka
3. Whitesell
4. Hatakeyama
5. Balentien
6. Miyamoto
7. Aikawa
8. Kawabata
9. Nakazawa

1. Soyogi
2. Higashide
3. Hirose
4. Tracy
5. Kurihara
6. Iwamoto
7. Fukui
8. Kura
9. Imamura

After taking 2 out of 3 from the Dragons over Golden Week, the swallows ventured south to Matsuyama looking to continue their great start to the season. Today was the first of a two game “home” set against the Hiroshima Carp.

After losing on Thursday to Chunichi, Swallows fans were hoping their team would be determined to start the game strong. Things did not begin that way for Ogawa-kantoku’s squad.

Soyogi started the game with a double to right and continued to third on a throwing error by Balentien. Higashide was up next. He hit a liner to right scoring Soyogi from third. 1-0 Hiroshima.

Hirose followed with a single to left. Nakazawa was looking at runners on first and second and nobody out with the clean-up hitter, Tracey at the plate. Nakazawa was fortunate to get Tracey to pop out to Whitesell at first. Things did not get any better for Nakazawa and the Swallows, though. Kurihara hit a double to center scoring both Higashide and Hirose. 3-0 Hiroshima.

Nakazawa then struck out Iwamoto looking. The hit parade continued and Iou hit a double to left scoring Kurihara. 4-0 Hiroshima.

Kura was up next. He ended the scoring barrage by hitting a single to left scoring Iou from second. 5-0 Hiroshima.

Imamura ended the inning by grounding out to second.

In the bottom of the second, Yakult got a run back. Hatakeyama started the inning with a walk. Balentein hit a single to right and Hatakeyama made it to third. After Miyamoto struck out, Aikawa grounded out to second scoring Hatakeyama and moving Balenteine to second. 5-1 Hiroshima.

Kawabata walked to put runners on first and second. In attempt to gain back a few more runs and probably seeing enough of Nakazawa, Ogawa brought in Yuichi to pitch-hit. Unfortunately all Yuichi could do was fly out to center.

The third inning turned out to be an awesome inning for those fans after some action. In the top half of the inning, Kurihara started with a single to center of Matsui. Up next was Iwamoto. The lefty hit a 2-2 pitch in to the right-field stands causing those Carp fans that made the short trip to Matsuyama to rejoice in song. 7-1 Hiroshima.

Iou followed the homerun with a single to center. The swallows finally were able to turn a double-play when the slow-footed Kura grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Not to be out done by his fielders, Imamura hit a single up the middle. He advanced to second on Soyogi’s single to left. The bases were loaded when Higashide walked. Matsui finally settled down and struck out Hirose swinging to end the inning.

Now it cam time for the Swallows half of the third. Imamura was still on the mound feeling confident with a 7-1 lead. However, he may have spent too much time on the bases as that 6 run lead quickly disappeared. Aoki started the inning off with a single to center. Tanaka then lined out to the shortstop. After flexing his muscles in the box, Whitesell hit a rope down the first-base line for a stand-up double. Hatakeyama was not to be outdone by Whitesell. He followed with his own double to center scoring both Aoki and Whitesell. 7-3 Hiroshima.

Wanting so desperately to get a hit, Balentien was biting at the chomps for a solid pitch to come his way. However, Imamura was not willing to participate and eventually walked Balentien. After loading the bases on a single to Miyamoto, Imamura really fell apart. Aikawa hit a single to left scoring Hatakeyama. 7-4 Hiroshima.

With Kawabata at the plate, Imamura looked nervous. He threw a passed ball which allowed Balentein to score. 7-5 Hiroshima.

That was shortly followed by a wild pitch. Although the ball did not travel very far from the plate, Kawabata did a great job of playing dumb and blocked Kura from quickly jumping on the ball. In the confusion, Miyamoto hustled home. 7-6 Hiroshima.

Kawabata eventually got a pitch that was not in the dirt and hit a grounder to second. Aikawa was trying to score from third but was eventually tagged out in a run-down. Kawamoto came in to pitch-hit for Matsui. He fouled-out to Kura to end the inning.

After the third inning, neither team made a serious threat to score until the eighth inning. Soyogi walked to start the inning. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Hiroshide. With one out, Hirose hit a single to left and Soyogi moved to third. With runners on the corners, Oshimoto was hoping to get a double play with a slow-running Tracy up next. Unfortunately for the swallows, Tracy was able to hit a soft liner that dropped in front of Aoki. Soyogi easily scored from third and Hirose went from first to third on the play. 8-6 Hiroshima.

Once again Oshimoto found himself with runners on the corners. Instead of getting the double play he desperately needed, he gave up a sac fly to Kurihara. This knocked in Hirose and gave Hiroshima a 3-run lead. 9-6 Hiroshima.

Iwamoto then grounded out to second to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning the swallows were facing a new pitcher in Schultz. The tall right-hander allowed a hit to Kawabata. Kawabata advanced to second on a soft grounder to short by Iihara. Schultz then walked Aoki to put runners on first and second with 2 out. The threat ended when Tanaka lined out to short.

Both teams went down in order in the ninth. The win for Hiroshima means they are now tied for first with the Swallows.

The second game of the two game set gets under way at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.


  • The teams combined for 25 hits
  • Kurihara was the man of the match
  • Attendance 17,024
About Scott

Scott is an avid fan of the underdog. He spent his childhood cheering for the Chicago White Sox and hating all teams from New York. Once he moved to Tokyo, he quickly directed this same hatred toward the tenants of the Tokyo Dome. Thus began his support of the Swallows (and anyone playing against the indoor Tokyo team).
In his mind, there is not a better place to be than at Jingu stadium watching the Swallows from the bleachers, drinking a nice cold drink, and cheering along with the extremely knowledgeable Swallows fans.

  • Welcome to Tsubamegun. Let me be the first to correct one of your posts — The Carp’s Fukui wasn’t doing all of that hitting, Takamitsu Ioh was. Fukui got the “start” in center, I’m guessing, because he’s a hometown boy of sorts, having gone to Saibi HS and represented Ehime at Koshien as a pitcher, and it was probably just a typical “start a pitcher so we can decide which-handed batter to put in later” platoon-type move. I had actually been wondering whether the Carp would work it out so he could get a start there — I was hoping for Fukui vs. Mikinori tomorrow 🙁

    Other than that, hi! Who are you? I don’t remember meeting a Scott at Jingu these last few years, so I’m guessing you came in from elsewhere

  • Welcome to the Tsubamegun, Scott. It’s bad form to out-write me on your first day.

  • Scott

    @FatsoGSD:disqus When there are 25 hits and 15 runs scored, I think a thousand words is a fair amount to write.
    @dr4b:disqus Thank you for the correction. Still working on my Kanji!! I know most of the swallows players but still learning the rest of the league. The article is now updated. I have been in Tokyo for awhile. I did not make it to many games last year. Before that, though, I usually went to a about 2-3 games a month. Will be at more games this year.

  • Count Fistula

    New writer… fresh blood… nice.

  • I was there. Nakazawa had nothing, barely hitting 130km/h with his fastball! So the result was no surprise, and he was lucky to get out of the 2nd with no runs allowed as his batting practice pitches were being hammered real hard. Then again, our starting pitching cupboard is pretty thin at the moment eh.

    Matsuyama Botchan Stadium is pretty nice, but Swallows fans were definitely outnumbered by the extremely enthusiastic Carp fans, many of whom I’m sure made the short visit across the Setonai sea from Hiroshima. I was also told by a local that Matsuyama baseball fans generally support the Carp, Swallows, or get this, though not a huge surprise, the Tigers 😛