Mar 31st 2013, vs Hanshin

March 31st, 2013

Hanshin Tigers 0  

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Won 2   Last 5: LWW

(Jingu Stadium)

Your Tokyo Swallows rode another strong pitching performance to a shutout win at Hanshin’s expense.

W: Yagi (1-0; 0.00 ERA) L: Fujinami (0-1; 1.50 ERA) S: Barnette (2S; 0.00 ERA)

And with Hanshin’s Fujinami putting together a strong performance in his first pro start, there was little room for error given the paucity of hits generated by Tokyo’s bats.

Nishioka (2B)1Tanaka (2B)
Yamato (CF)2Ueda (CF)
Toritani (SS)3Milledge (LF)
R. Arai (1B)4Hatakeyama (1B)
Fukudome (RF)5Iwamura (3B)
Murton (LF)6Aikawa (C)
Conrad (3B)7Yuuhei (CF)
Fujii (C)8Kawashima (SS)
Fujinami (P)9Yagi (P)

Hanshin’s highly-touted rookie was undoubtedly the better-known pitcher in this contest, but it was Yagi who got the win thanks to his seven innings of six-hit baseball. The 22-year-old lefty threw a team high (this season) 132 pitches while striking out four. All seven of the hits he gave up were to the outfield, and he also scattered three walks.

Interestingly, Tokyo’s infield recorded only one groundout while Yagi was in the game. In fact, 15 of the outs were fly outs (7 infield, 8 outfield).

Also worth noting was that this was Iwamura’s first start in a Tokyo uniform since the 2006 season. He struck out three times in a 0-4 afternoon.

But of other players picked up the slack. In the first inning, Tanaka reached first thanks to an Arai fielding error, and Ueda followed by drawing a walk without even a single swing. Tanaka then moved over to third on Milledge’s fly-out to Fukudome in foul territory, and Ueda stole second during Hatakeyama’s ensuing at-bat.

Hatakeyama came through with a single to center that brought Tanaka home from third.

Not bad for a former pitcher.

Not bad for a former pitcher.

1-0 Tokyo.

Tokyo’s offense didn’t do much after that though. Most of the runners that Tokyo got on base were thanks to Fujinami losing the strike zone.

However, an insurance run came via the long ball in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With two outs on the board, Yuuhei drove the second pitch he saw into the right field bleachers. It was both the first homer and earned run that Fujinami has allowed in his professional career. It also happened to be Yuuhei’s first home run for the top team.

2-0 Final.

Yamamoto took over for Yagi in the eighth. While he allowed one hit, he largely relied on his outfielders and got out of the inning after 12 pitches.

Barnette pitched a perfect ninth inning (three K’s) for his second save of the season.

The birds travel to Hiroshima tomorrow for a three game set against the Carp.

Game Notes

  • After the first series of the season, Tokyo finds itself in a tie with Yokohama for second place in the Central League.
  • When Iwamura last played for the Swallows, he hit .311 with 32 home runs and 77 RBI. However, since returning to the NPB in 2011 (Tohoku) he has only hit one homer.
  • Yagi made three top team appearances last season and recorded one win (1.80 ERA).
  • Through three games, the team batting average is a paltry .182.
  • The only team that hasn’t yet won a Central League game is Hiroshima. They lost two and drew one against Yomiuri last weekend.
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

  • Rob

    I misunderestimated Ogawa’s new strategy. Opponents can score as many runs as they like in the first game of a series, but they are not allowed to score for the rest of the series. Clever! Pity Tateyama got stuck pitching the first game, though.
    Yuhei rules!
    Glad we won’t have to face Maeda, but I suppose we’ll see Nomura. Who are we throwing? Muranaka, Akagawa, Roman?

    • Tonight it’s Muranaka vs Ohtake. And I guess we’ll see some combination of Roman and Akagawa on Wed/Thurs.

    • Kozo

      It appears the rookie Ogawa will make his debut in tomorrow (Wednesday).

  • Hokkaido chocolate – that crazy uploader is back in 2013!

    and is it just me, or is yuuhei rocking a mullet?