Apr 21st 2013, @ Hanshin

April 21st, 2013


Tokyo Swallows 0

Hanshin Tigers 5

Streak: Lost 5  Last 5: LLLLL


And it’s five losses in a row after another rough day at the plate for your Tokyo Swallows.

W: Fujinami (2-1; 0.86 ERA)
L: Yagi (1-2; 2.96 ERA)

Yup, just three hits.

Ueda (CF)1Nishioka (2B)
Miwa (2B)2Yamato (CF)
Milledge (LF)3Toritani (SS)
Balentien (RF)4Murton (LF)
Hatakeyama (1B)5Fukudome (RF)
Miyamoto (3B)6T. Arai (1B)
Morioka (SS)7R. Arai (3B)
Nakamura (C)8Fujii (C)
Yagi (P)9Fujinami (P)

All three hits were doubles (one each for Morioka, Milledge, and Tanaka).

Hanshin rookie, Fujinami, only allowed two hits and a walk during his seven innings of service. He also expended a miserly 83 pitches while striking out four and inducing 11 groundouts.

Tokyo starter, Yagi, started well and only allowed three hits over the first four innings. Arai the elder finally got to him on a full count in the bottom of the fifth. Home run over the wall in left.

1-0 Hanshin

Despite quickly surrendering a follow-up double to Arai the younger, Yagi got out of the inning with just the one earned run. But there was more bad news to come in the sixth.

Yamato’s leadoff single was followed by a Toritani walk, and two outs later, the Arai brothers once again strung together a couple of hits, each of which scored one run.

Hatake strikes out looking at an outside pitch.

Hatakeyama strikes out looking at a “strike”.

3-0 Hanshin.

That was it for Yagi who exited the game having thrown 89 pitches through five and two-thirds frames.

Rookie reliever, Tatsuya Ohba, recorded the final out and also safely navigated the seventh inning despite giving up a walk.

But Hanshin’s closer was effectively given the night off when Masubuchi entered the game in the bottom of the eighth.

Murton hit a leadoff double and was brought home one out later thanks to Takahiro Arai’s single into left field.

With Arai’s little brother sitting on the bench thanks to being removed for a pinch runner after his previous hit, Tokyo was spared the indignity of having the Arai brothers smack back-to-back hits in three consecutive trips through the order. Instead, little Arai’s replacement, Saka, kindly grounded out to short for the second out, but Hanshin backstop, Fujii, made sure to inflict one final injustice on the visitors by way of an RBI single to left. Pinch-hitter, Hiyama finally flew out to right to stop the bleeding.

And that entire sequence took just 15 pitches.

5-0 Final.

Ohba still has a perfect ERA through two appearances for the top team while Masubuchi’s jumped to 9.00 over the same number of games.

Yagi (2.96 ERA) saw his record sink to 1-2 through four starts.

The Swallows have tomorrow off before starting a six-game home stand. The Tuesday through Thursday series is against the Hiroshima Carp, and the weekend series sees the Yomiuri Giants visit from just down the Sobu Line.

Game Notes:

  • The Swallows are now 7-14, and one game behind the sixth place Chunichi Dragons.
  • Tokyo is currently the only team in NPB with a team batting average under two hundred (.199).
  • Tokyo’s team ERA of 3.68 is second worst in the Central League. Yokohama holds that honor with a team ERA of 3.81.
  • Tokyo’s run differential is currently -27.

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