May 10th 2013, vs Hanshin

May 10th, 2013

Hanshin Tigers  5

Tokyo Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 2   Last 5: WWWLL

(Botchan Stadium – Matsuyama)

Tonight, Messenger rocked the Birds on the mound and at the dish.

W: Messenger (5-0; 3.717) L: Ishikawa (2-4; 3.57)

If it wasn’t for the crazy 5th inning, the Birds may have gotten a win tonight. However, the 5th inning did happen and the Birds bats were shutout (the 6th time this season).

Tigers Swallows
Nishioka (2B)1Hiyane (CF)
Yamato (CF)2Tanaka H. (2B)
Toritani (SS)3Milledge (LF)
Murton (LF)4Balentien (RF)
Arai R. (3B)5Iwamura (3B)
Arai T. (1B)6Hatakeyama (1B)
Fujii (C)7Morioka (SS)
Fujikawa (RF)8Nakamura (C)
Messenger (P)9Ishikawa (P)

Once again, the chaw-chomping hurler had the Birds number. Messenger pitched a complete game shutout and also had 3 RBIs! The Tigers did all of their damage in the 5th inning. Here is how it went down.

Ryota Arai lead off the inning with a hit. Takahiro Arai would ground out for the first out, with Ryota moving to second on the play. Fujii then hit a grounder to Morioka. Morioka’s throw to first would be low and Boo was unable to handle it cleanly (it bounced off the palm of his glove). Fujii would be safe and Morioka would be charged with an error (in this observers opinion, Boo was more at fault then Morioka).  Fujikawa would then load the bases with a single to center. With only one out and Messenger coming to the plate, Ogawa brought everybody in close, including the outfielders. Unfortunately, Ishikawa couldn’t get a solid pitch pass Messenger. He was able to hit the second pitch he saw to the warning track. Since everybody was playing in, the ball would drop for a stand-up double for Messenger and three runs would cross the plate. 3 – 0 Hanshin

Nishioka would hit a single to left and Messenger would advance to third on the play. Yamato would then hit the second double of the inning knocking in Messenger and Nishioka. 5 – 0 Hanshin

After another hit by Toritani, Murton and Ryota Arai would be the final outs of the inning.

The Birds never really threatened. After the 1st inning, they never managed more than one base runner in an inning.

Tonight was purely dominated by Messenger. He is arguably the best pitcher in any league at the moment and his record shows that. He is 5-0 with 2 no decisions. His ERA is a bit high at 3.717 but he is still controlling the opposition hitters. And, according to Yakyubaka, he is the first foreign Hanshin pitcher to start the season 5-0 since Trey Moore in 2003. His last loss was against the Swallows on Sept. 11, 2012.

Messenger tipping his cap after a great night.

Messenger tipping his cap after a great night.

As hard as it is for me to type this, Randy you are on a nice roll.

Now that I got that out of my system, PLEASE F**KING STOP IT!!!


  • Only 10,036 folks made it out to see this one 
  • The game lasted exactly 3 hours
  • Hanshin now leads the series 7-3
  • Milledge (7 games) and Tanaka (6 games) both extended their hitting streaks, while Morioka’s ended at 6 games
  • Tomorrow will see Iwata for Hanshi and Ogawa for Tokyo; 1st pitch is 6 pm
About Scott

Scott is an avid fan of the underdog. He spent his childhood cheering for the Chicago White Sox and hating all teams from New York. Once he moved to Tokyo, he quickly directed this same hatred toward the tenants of the Tokyo Dome. Thus began his support of the Swallows (and anyone playing against the indoor Tokyo team).
In his mind, there is not a better place to be than at Jingu stadium watching the Swallows from the bleachers, drinking a nice cold drink, and cheering along with the extremely knowledgeable Swallows fans.