Apr 10th 2013, @ Chunichi

April 10th, 2013

Tokyo Swallows 4  Chunichi Logo

Chunichi Dragons 2

Streak: Won 1    Last 5: LLWLW

(Nagoya Dome)

Tokyo’s two-man, high-kicking Chorus Line of Yasuhiro Ogawa and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama ruled the day as the Swallows managed to avoid a second consecutive dropped series.

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W: Ogawa (2-0; 0.00 ERA) L: Bergesen (0-1; 4.50 ERA)

Chunichi’s Hector Luna was the only other player to have a real impact on the game.

TokyoOrderChunichi
Kawashima (SS)1Oshima (CF)
Ueda (CF)2Matsui (RF)
Milledge (LF)3Luna (3B)
Hatakeyama (1B)4Clark (1B)
Takeuchi (RF)5Wada (LF)
Miyamoto (3B)6Ibata (SS)
Tanaka (2B)7Tanishige (C)
Nakamura (C)8Araki (2B)
Ogawa (P)9Bergesen (P)

This game zipped along very quietly for the first six innings. The first player to get a hit was actually Ogawa of all people, but that wasn’t until two outs into the third inning. Unfortunately, Kawashima struck out to end the threat.

Ogawa was even better on the mound, however. He was perfect through three, and had a no-hitter going through five and a third innings.

Luckily for Ogawa, by the time the Dragons finally got a hit off of him (which was off the end of the bat, very weak, but perfectly placed) the rest of the lineup had already manufactured a three-run lead.

Nakamura got things started in the top of the sixth with a solid single to center. A small hiccup occurred when Ogawa was adjudged to have obstructed Tanishige during his sac bunt, so it was a free out for Chunichi and Nakamura had to head back to first. But Kawashima managed to find his way to first on an infield single, and Ueda loaded the bases with a soft bounder into left.

Yay!

Winning feels good.

Milledge popped up to second for out number two, and then Hatakeyama filled the batter’s box with Tokyo’s best chance of the last 15 innings on the line.

Fludge came through on the 1-2 pitch with a shot into the gap in center-right to clear the bases and quiet the majority of Chunichi’s half-filled stadium.

3-0 Tokyo.

Chunichi got one back in the bottom of the inning thanks to the second blown call in as many days. After reaching first on Ogawa’s fielding error, Oshima benefited from what looked like a close play at second on his stolen base attempt. However, the replay showed that he was clearly out, and that means that he never should have been there to score on Luna’s subsequent dribbler up the middle. Oh well.

3-1 Tokyo.

But then the game quieted down again after that, and there were no more hits for the next two frames.

Ogawa made it through seven innings while giving up just the one unearned run, and Yamamoto made it through the eighth inning on 10 pitches.

ROY?

Ogawa gave up just one hit through seven innings.

Hatakeyama came through again for the visitors in the top of the ninth when he led off for the birds. With Oguma on the mound for Chunichi, Fludge watched a couple of pitches out of the zone, fouled off a heater, and then deposited the next fastball he saw deep into the bleachers in left for his third home run of the season.

4-1 Tokyo.

Barnette took the mound in the bottom of the ninth with a three-run cushion and gave up a solo homer to Luna and a single to Wada, but he then recorded three consecutive outs to notch his fourth save of the season.

Fludge

See that little tuft of hair poking up through his helmet? That’s his secret weapon.

Ogawa was awarded game MVP honors for his seven innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out seven and walked three while keeping his ERA perfect through the first two starts of his professional career.

Yamamoto also maintained his 0.00 ERA in his fifth appearance this season.

Barnette saw his ERA jump to 2.25, but he has four saves from his five appearances so far.

Game three of this series is tomorrow night at 6PM (Nagoya Dome).

Game Notes:

  • The game was over in two hours and 50 minutes.
  • 21,561 people allegedly bought tickets to watch this game.
  • Kawashima is swinging the bat pretty well right now. So is Takeuchi.
  • Chunichi’s Matt Clark appears to be a solid defensive option at first.
  • Yasuhiro Ogawa is good.

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

  • Totally agree about the Oshima steal.

    Oh, and Ogawa, at this early stage, looks our best starter by some distance.