Jun 16th 2013, @ Orix

June 16th, 2013

Tokyo Swallows 8Orix Bs

Orix Buffaloes 10

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL

(Kyocera Dome)

And finally, brutally, the interleague portion of the season comes to an inglorious end. Until we meet again, Pa-League.

W: Kamoshida (1-0; 27.00 ERA)
L: Barnette (0-4; 11.91)
S: Hirano (1-2 15S; 0.95)

As you can plainly and painfully see, a big sixth inning from the hometown Buffaloes was all it took to flip this game on its head.

Milledge (LF)1Sakaguchi (LF)
Morioka (SS)2Shunta (CF)
Takeuchi (1B)3Itoi (RF)
Balentien (RF)4Lee (1B)
Aikawa (C)5Baldiris (3B)
Iwamura (3B)6Tsuji (DH)
Iihara (CF)7Gotoh (2B)
Nakamura (C)8Yamamoto (SS)
Tanaka (2B)9Itoh (C)
Leroux (P)-Nishi (P)

Chris Leroux made another Sunday start for the birds, and even though the Buffaloes scored a pair of runs off of him early, he began the sixth inning with his team up 8-3.

Balentien had another home run. Number 21 of the season was a solo shot to start the second inning. He didn’t see many good pitches after that and walked in his next three at-bats.

Still waiting to collect his first NPB win.

Still waiting to collect his first NPB win.

Milledge had a pair of hits and a walk to help construct that five-run lead, and Iihara had a huge bases-clearing double in to tack three runs onto the tally in a very enjoyable two-out rally.

But it all came undone in the bottom of the sixth.

Leroux got the first out, Barnette the second, and Shichijo the third, but seven hits (including three doubles) and a walk meant that Tokyo would end it’s forgettable 2013 Interleague schedule on an appropriate face-palming note.

After collecting 11 hits through the first six innings, Tokyo’s bats had little to say following Orix’s eruption. Only two more runners reached base during the final three frames.

8-10 Final.

Leroux threw 115 pitches through five and one-third innings. He allowed seven hits, struck out two, walked five, and was credited with six runs (all earned).

But the offense was decent, during the first two-thirds of the game at least, and that’s certainly a welcome reversal of fortunes.

Five starters had two-hit games, and both Iwamura and Nakamura matched Milledge by reaching base three times.

The birds even outhit the Buffaloes 13-12, but baseball can be a bastard like that sometimes, you know?

Tokyo now has four days of rest and practice before starting the month-long descent into the All-Star break. Central League action resumes on Friday with your Tokyo Swallows heading to Hiroshima for a three-game set. The next time Tokyo is at home is next Tuesday through Thursday when Yokohama  will be in town.

Game Notes:

  • Tokyo split the interleague series with Orix, 2-2.
  • 27,044 people had tickets to this marvelous afternoon debacle.
  • The game officially lasted four hours and 21 minutes. I bet you wish you were there, doncha?
  • Balentien is hitting a rather ridiculous .313/.419/.698. As you probably guessed, he’s leading the league in slugging.
Someone is very excited that they ripped their team-leading second triple of the season.

Someone is very excited that they ripped their team-leading second triple of the season.

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

  • Tony Barnette and Kazuhiro Hatakeyama were both removed from the active roster the day after this game of joy.