8/18/12 – Hanshin (Home)

August 18th, 2012

Hanshin Tigers 0

Tokyo Swallows  1

Streak: Won 1    Last 5: WLLLW

(Jingu Stadium)

Tateyama pitched a clutch game to halt the Swallows’ losing streak, and the offense did just enough to squeak by the Tigers.

W: Tateyama (7-8); L: Messenger (6-10); S: Barnette (22)

The Swallows faithful were greeted with yet another injury report tonight. Aikawa was diagnosed with a left rib fracture that will keep him out for action for at least 6 weeks. The injury meant an emergency call up for Genki Nitta, and a start for Kawamoto. While Nakamura would seem like the natural pick for starter, it seems like the team is reluctant to have him catch the veteran pitchers.

 Tigers Swallows
1Hiroki Uemoto (2B)1Lastings Milledge (LF)
2Keiichi Hirano (CF)2Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)
3Takashi Toritani (SS)3Shinichi Takeuchi (RF)
4Ryota Arai (RF)4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
5Tomoaki Kanemoto (LF)5Shingo Kawabata (3B)
6Takahiro Arai (1B)6Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)
7Katsuhiko Saka (3B)7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)
8Shinji Komiyama (C)8Ryohei Kawamoto (C)
9Randy Messenger (P)9Shohei Tateyama (P)

Despite only one run being scored, this game lasted a excruciatingly long 3 hours and 21 minutes. The game plodded along thanks to offenses that did just enough to put men on base, but not enough to actually bring them home. Randy Messenger kept giving up hits to Swallows’ batters but only managed to stay in the game thanks to some timely strikeouts.

The Swallows finally got to Messenger in the sixth. Hatake lead off the inning with a single, and Kawabata Tak-bunted him over to second. Hiroyasu made the bunt pay off with a hit-and-run single to center. 1-0 Swallows

Meanwhile, Tateyama kept the Tigers mostly at bay, giving up only 2 hits through the first 6 innings. The only bump in the road came in the first inning, when Tateyama put the first 2 men on base. However, things got nervy just after the offense spotted Tateyama a run. Tateyama gave up three singles to load the bases with only 1 out. The veteran dug deep into his bag of tricks and got Imanari to pop out to short, and got Craig Brazell to strikeout swinging to end the Tigers’ threat.

Tateyama was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth, with 2 out and men on first and second. Fujimoto came to bat and made solid contact for a hit to shallow center. Unfortunately Shiroishi decided to be his usual aggressive self and instead of 2 out bases loaded for Milledge the Birds were left with a third out at home.

Tony Barnette came in to preserve the win. While Tony did give up a 1 out single to Sekimoto. The game ended on a satisfying strike’em out throw’em out double play.

Tateyama pitched 8 innings giving up 5 hits and a walk. While getting 7 strikeouts.

The Swallows will finish the series tomorrow by sending out Muranaka. The Tigers will counter with Nomi.

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.