Mar 30th 2013, vs Hanshin

March 30th, 2013

Hanshin Tigers 0  

Tokyo Swallows 1

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LW

(Jingu Stadium)

W: Ishikawa (1-0; 0.00 ERA) L: Iwata (0-1; 1.29 ERA)
S: Barnette (1S; 0.00 ERA)

The day after being thoroughly outplayed in every department, Tokyo got things back on track as they rode on the back of eight plus innings of three-hit Ishikawa pitching to their first win of 2013.

Nishioka (2B)1Tanaka (2B)
Yamato (CF)2Ueda (CF)
Toritani (SS)3Milledge (LF)
Arai (1B)4Hatakeyama (1B)
Fukudome (RF)5Ihara (RF)
Murton (LF)6Miyamoto (3B)
Conrad (3B)7Aikawa (C)
Fujii (C)8Kawashima (SS)
Iwata (P)9Ishikawa (P)

Saturday’s lineup saw one of the main culprits in Friday’s shit-show, Morioka, replaced with Keizo Kawashmia, while Ihara replaced Matsui in right.

This picture is all you really need to know about Saturday's game

This picture is all you really need to know about Saturday’s game

And things initially looked like they may go the same way as the season opener as Ishikawa plunked Nishioka with only his second pitch of the game. And that impression continued as a Toritani hit and a throwing error from Ishikawa loaded the bases with one out on the board, but Ishikawa rallied himself to strike out Fukudome before getting Murton to hit a tame fly ball to left to end the threat.

Tokyo’s only run of the game came in the bottom of the 1st. Tanaka hit a high-bounder to third, which allowed him to get on board with an infield single. The ineveitable Ueda sac-bunt then followed, with Tanaka then making it to third on a wild pitch during Milledge’s first at-bat of the game. Lastings then worked a walk which brought up Hatakeyama with men on the corners and one out. The chubby-one then hit a grounder to short, but somehow managed to waddle his way to first before the double play ball, scoring Tanaka for a 1-0 Tokyo  scoreline.

After that first inning pitching would dominate proceedings, but Tokyo did have a couple more chances to extend the lead. In the 4th a Milledge lead-off double was wasted as three straight outs stranded him at second. And in the 7th, singles from Hatake and Miyamoto with a walk for Aikawa loaded the bases with one out for Keizo. He could only fly-out to the first base foul territory before Ishikawa, who was chasing the complete game shut out, struck out swinging to keep the lead at one.

Ishikawa allowed only his third hit of the game in the top of the 9th, but was switched for Tony Barnette with the tying run at second and two outs on the board. Murton wouldn’t bite on the low inside fastballs Tony was offering, and he occupied first on the walk. However next man up Brooks Conrad was more accommodating, giving Tony both his first strikeout and save of the season for a 1-0 Tokyo Final.

Game Notes

  • It warmed the collective cockles of the Swallows contingent present in a chilly overcast Jingu to witness such a strong start from Ishikawa after his struggles in 2012. His final line was 8.2IP / 129P / 3H / 0R / 4K / 3BB / 1 HBP and we will need more performances like this if Tokyo are going to challenge this season.
  • 26556 souls witnessed this one which was done and dusted in 2 hours 34 minutes.
  • Sunday’s rubber game of the opening series will see coveted rookie Fujinami take the mound for Hanshin, with the Swallows countering with Yagi. Expect Roman to start one of the upcoming games in Hiroshima.
About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto