7/14/11 – Chunichi (Home)

July 14th, 2011

Chunichi Dragons 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Tied 1 Last 5: LWWWD

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After losing two in a row to the Swallows, the Dragons shuffled their lineup and sent Chen to the mound. The Swallows countered with Ishikawa, hoping he would be able to pitch deep to relieve the burden on the bullpen.

 Swallows Dragons
1CF Aoki12B Araki
22B Tanaka2CF Oshima
31B Whitesell3RF Hirata
4LF Hatakeyama43B Morino
5RF Balentien5LF Wada
63B Miyamoto61B Koike
7SS Kawabata7SS Iwasaki
8C Aikawa8C Oyama
9P Ishikawa9P Chen

Ishikawa only gave up one hit through the first 3 innings of the game. Unfortunately, the lone hit was a Morino solo homer to lead off the second. 1-0 Dragons

Meanwhile, the Swallows got multiple runners on against Chen in the first 2 innings, but couldn’t seal the deal.

Ishikawa cracked a little in the fourth inning, allowing a lead off infield single to Oshima to start the inning. Ishikawa was able to get the next two batters out, moving Oshima to second in the process. With two out, Ishikawa worked Wada to a 2-2 count but the bald man took the 6th pitch into center field allowing Oshima to score. 2-0 Dragons

Chen had settled down after the second, getting through the Swallows’ order once. The Swallows finally got another hit off Chen after Tanaka lead off the sixth inning with a single. Whitesell quickly fell behind 0-2 to Chen, but he managed to foul off 3 pitches, and watched 2 balls go by before he took a high outside fastball the other way for a game tying homerun. 2-2 All

Thus began the now familiar pattern of deadlock. Both teams got runners on at various points but couldn’t cash in. So for the second night in a row the game went to extra innings. Oshimoto and Kyuko held the Dragons off the board and preserved the tie. Again the Swallows found themselves in a position to win the game or go home with a loss. The Dragons sent out veteran closer Iwase to the mound to face the top of the Swallows’ order. Iwase starts things off with a Aoki strikeout. Tanaka makes things interesting by getting a infield single, but Iwase was able to get Whitesell to fly out to right field. The Swallows sent out Miyade to pinch hit for Miwa, and Ochiai counters with Asao. Miyade couldn’t keep the magic alive, as he grounded out to second in only 2 pitches.

The tie was the team’s 8th of the season. Ishikawa got a no decision despite pitching 7.1 inning giving up only 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Matsuoka, Barnette, Oshimoto, and Kyuko combined to pitch the final 2.2 innings of the game. The Birds are now 4-0-4 in games that go into extra innings.

The Swallows will begin a 3 game series at the Tokyo Dome tomorrow.

Ishikawa pitches well but doesn't get enough run support to get the win.

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.

  • Looking forward to this weekend’s series.

    Posted the highlights: http://bitURL.net/bvb9

    Worth it for a couple nice plays, despite the ‘meh’ result.