04/08/12 Chunichi (Away)

April 8th, 2012

Tokyo Swallows 3

Chunichi Dragons 1

Streak: Won 2 Last 5: LDLWW

(Nagoya Dome)

Tokyo’s struggles at Nagoya Dome are long-documented on this site, so last night’s 2-1 win over the 2011 Central League Champs on their home turf was a wonderful sigh of relief.

But Tokyo’s birds gave you something else to be happy about this weekend.

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Chunichi0000000100190
W: Barnette (1-0; 1S; 0.00 ERA) L: Iwase (0-1; 3S; 3.60 ERA)

And a little bit of a switcheroo was involved in the early part of the lineup.

 Tokyo Chunichi
1Hiyane CF1Araki 2B
2Tanaka 2B2Oshima CF
3Milledge LF3Morino 3B
4Hatakeyama 1B4Yamasaki 1B
5Kawabata SS5Wada LF
6Miyamoto 3B6Ibata SS
7Balentien RF7Hirata RF
8Aikawa C8Tanishige C
9Akagawa P9Yamamoto P

Tokyo recorded a hit off of Chunichi’s starter, mister geriatric Yamamoto, in three of the first five innings. But it wasn’t until the sixth, when they didn’t actually record an official hit, that they actually scored a run.

Hiyane, starting for Ueda, drew a walk to start things off, and then he stole second while Tanaka was at the plate posturing for a bunt. Tanaka finally sacrificed successfully on the third pitch which sent Hiyane over to third with one out.

Milledge then popped a first pitch sinker up into left field which was deep enough to allow Hiyane to score from third.

Chunichi 0-1 Tokyo.

Tokyo starter, Akagawa, allowed more than one runner on base for the first time in the seventh, but he induced two outfield flies to Yamasaki and Wada to end the threat and the inning.

And he was finally credited with a run in the eighth when the leadoff double that he allowed ended up crossing home plate on an Araki hit to left.

Chunichi 1-1 Tokyo.

Ugh.

But never fear, my friends, for Tokyo’s bench finally grew a set. After a disappointing ninth in which Tokyo stranded two runners, Takeuchi led off the tenth with a single to right against Chunichi’s closer, Iwase. Hiyane then followed with his second walk in his first

He keeps doing just enough to remain relevant...

pro start to initiate a serious case of swamp-ass in Mr. Iwase’s trousers. Tanaka then did his duty by executing his second sac bunt of the game (both with a runner on second).

Milledge took first after enjoying a four-pitch walk which juiced the bases and brought pinch-hitter, Iihara, to the plate. He lofted the first pitch in the zone (third pitch overall) into center which was enough to score Takeuchi from third for the go-ahead run.

Chunichi 1-2 Tokyo.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Kawabata came through with his third hit of the game in his fifth at-bat on an inside 0-1 fastball. Hiyane scored from third.

Chunichi 1-3 Tokyo.

And that’s how it ended. The bottom of the tenth was a bit hairy, especially after Hidaka went ahead and walked the only batter he faced. But Hirai got Donoue to ground out on three pitches to end the bases-loaded threat, and the game.

So Tokyo took the series 2-1 which, to be fair, is a huge victory for the team considering how they played at Nagoya Dome during the months of September-November of 2011.

And the Swallows are now the only team to have beaten the Dragons this season. And they’ve done it twice.

Next up is Yokohama who will be visiting Jingu Stadium from Tuesday-Thursday this week.  All games start at 6PM.

Notes:

  • Barnette notched his first win of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
  • Hirai got the save on just three pitches.
  • Tanaka was the only other Tokyo Swallow (other than Kawabata) to have a multi-hit game. He was 2-3 with two sac bunts.
  • Miyamoto went 0-5.
  • Chunichi sucks.
About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo’s more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it’s a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini

  • ‘M’

    Solid. Banishing some Climax Series ghosts.

  • Dr. No

    Hopefully we’ll see Iihara take over right field soon

  • Hokkaido Chocolate

    was following the updates on the iPhone and I’m not sure if I read it right, but did Hatake somehow steal a base?

    • Rob

      Yes! The fourth of his career, according to the TV announcers. He’s figured out  fielding and hitting so he’s working on speed – expanding his game.