Apr 11th 2013, @ Chunichi

April 11th, 2013

Tokyo Swallows 1Chunichi Logo

Chunichi Dragons 4

Streak: Lost 1    Last 5: LWLWL

(Nagoya Dome)

The Swallows lost their second series in a row as they dropped the rubber match against the Dragons. Tonight, the Swallows lost to the 1-2 punch of Daniel Cabrera and Hector Luna. On the Swallows side, it was another night of limp bats and mediocre pitching.

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W: Cabrera (2-0) L: Akagawa (0-2)
S: Iwase (3)

 Swallows Dragons
1Tsuyoshi Ueda (CF)1Yohei Oshima (CF)
2Ryosuke Morioka (SS)2Masahiro Araki (2B)
3Lastings Milledge (LF)3Hector Luna (3B)
4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)4Kazuhiro Wada (LF)
5Shinichi Takeuchi (RF)5Matt Clark (1B)
6Shinya Miyamoto (3B)6Hirokazu Ibata (SS)
7Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)7Motonobu Tanishige (C)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Ryosuke Hirata (RF)
9Katsuki Akagawa (P)9Daniel Cabrera (P)

I remember when Daniel Cabrera was a young Baltimore Oriole pitcher on my fantasy baseball team. He could throw a masterful game one night, and breakdown and get lit up the next night. Unfortunately, the dominant Cabrera showed up to play in Nagoya. Cabrera started the game with three straight strikeouts and ended up with 9 Ks for the night.

After Cabrera started the night off hot, the Dragons offense struck quickly with an Oshima double to lead off the game and a Luna single to score Oshima. 1-0 Dragons

Akagawa looked like he was settling down, but the Dragons struck again in the third inning. After back-to-back strikeouts to start the inning, Akagawa gave up a single to Araki. Luna made Akagawa pay for his mistake with a homer to left. 3-0 Dragons The homerun extended Luna’s streak of multi-hit games to five.

The Swallows best chance to turn the tide came in the fifth inning after Tanaka and Nakamura got back-to-back singles off Cabrera. Iwamura struckout as a pinch hitter, but the runners advanced on a wild pitch during the next at bat. Unfortunately, Yuhei wasn’t able to make Cabrera pay and the Swallows stayed off the board.

The proverbial nail in the coffin came in the sixth inning. Matsuoka was on the mound after pitching a decent fifth inning, but things got off track quickly thereafter. Matsuoka started the inning off by giving up a homerun to Matt Clark that barely cleared the stands. 4-0 Dragons Back-to-back singles to Ibata and Tanishige followed by a walk to Hirata loaded the bases. Matsuoka managed to get a strikeout off of a disinterested Cabrera before he was pulled. Kyuko and Shichijo came in to get one out each and managed to get the Swallows out of the inning without further damage. It may be time to give up on Matsuoka for a while. The veteran reliever has given up runs in four of his six appearances this year, and multiple hits conceded in five of his six appearances.

The Swallows did manage to get one run on the board in the eighth. Okada came in to relieve Cabrera and Yuhei was able to get a single off of him to start the inning. Okada was relieved by Tajima after he struckout Kawshima for the first out. Tajima started his night on a rocky note with a wild pitch that allowed Yuhei to advance to second. Milledge wasn’t able to deliver a hit, but Hatake got a hit that drove in Yuhei. 4-1 Swallows

Not the prettiest night for the Swallows. The Birds scattered 7 singles throughout the game, but didn’t show any power. On the pitching side, Akagawa lasted only 4 innings giving up 3 earned runs on 6 hits while getting 4 strikeouts. The early runs meant that Akagawa was lifted for a pinch hitter before he could pitch any further. The gap between the two teams weren’t too pronounced, the Dragons just got some key hits and strong pitching from their starter.

The Swallows will now travel back to Tokyo to playing the Evil Dome. The Giants are slumping somewhat after a hot start to the season. The Giants have not scored in the last 31 innings, after starting the season undefeated. Tomorrow will also see the return of Orlando Roman and Wladimir Balentien.

Akagawa was the victim of Luna's bat.

Akagawa was the victim of Luna’s bat.

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.