Jun 30th 2013, vs Yomiuri

June 30th, 2013

Yomiuri Giants 2

Tokyo Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 1  Last 5: LWLWL

(Kusanagi Stadium)

After yesterday’s win, Tokyo hoped to win consecutive games for the first time this month.

W: Sugiuchi (6-4; 2.72 ERA)
L: Ishikawa (2-6; 3.63)
S: Nishimura (2-2; 18S; 1.20)

And even though the birds outhit Yomiuri 8-7, they couldn’t find a way to put a run on the board.

Tani (LF)1Yamada (2B)
Nakai (1B)2Araki (1B)
Sakamoto (SS)3Milledge (LF)
Abe (C)4Balentien (RF)
Murata (3B)5Aikawa (C)
Yano (RF)6Miyamoto (3B)
Chono (CF)7Iihara (CF)
Terauchi (2B)8Kawashima (SS)
Sugiuchi (P)9Ishikawa (P)

On the bright side, your birds are 3-3 since being shown the door by the Pacific League.

On the poopie side, the Tokyo Swallows are still in last place in the Central League.

All of the scoring in this afternoon affair occurred in the top of the fifth. Ishikawa was making his return to the roster after a multi-week hiatus, and he allowed only one hit and one walk through the first four frames.

But the first started and ended poorly.

Ishikawa lasted six innings in his return to active duty.

Ishikawa lasted six innings in his return to active duty.

Chono kicked things off with a fly ball to the gap that just barely made it past Balentien’s glove. Iihara gathered the carom off the wall, but Chono had legged out a triple after all was said and done. And he soon scored on Terauchi’s bounder to left which Milledge overran and Yomiuri’s second baseman was able to take second on the play (E7).

Sugiuchi muffed his bunt for the first out, but Tani managed his second hit of the game which allowed Terauchi to score from second as Milledge was forced to track all the way to directly behind short before making a good throw to the plate that was just a tad behind schedule. Tani was caught in a rundown near first for out number two. Nakai singled as well, but Sakamoto grounded out to end the inning.

0-2 Final.

Ishikawa threw only 70 pitches through six full innings, but he didn’t get any run support to help his cause. Of the two runs he surrendered, one was earned, and although he didn’t record any K’s today, he only allowed one walk.

Tokyo’s best chance to cash in today came in the bottom of the sixth. Yamada’s single was followed by a two-out double care of Milledge. With runners on second and third, and Balentien due up, Hara yanked Sugiuchi in favor of Mathieson, and it worked. Balentien grounded the first pitch he saw to short for a quiet end to the rally.

There were, however, a couple of rays of light poking through the gloom down in Shizuoka. Yamada and Miyamoto both had three-hit games (all singles). Kiya threw seven strikes in the top of the seventh, and it was enough to retire the side. Chono struck out swinging on three pitches, Terauchi flew out to second on the first pitch, and Mathieson struck out very passively on three pitches. Also, Muranaka threw two more scoreless innings in relief. He lowered his ERA to a far more reasonable 3.88 in the process.

Game Notes:

  • 20,338 people had tickets to this game. And by what we saw on TV, it looked like the place was pretty packed. Mostly Yomiuri supporters though…
  • A bit of a pitcher’s duel, the game lasted just two hours and 49 minutes.
  • The season series, believe it or not, is tied at four games apiece.
  • After a day off on Monday, Tokyo have a three-game series away against Yokohama. After that, it’s three games in Nagoya.
  • The next time the Swallows have a game at Jingu is the weekend of July 12th-14th when they host Hiroshima.
  • Despite going hitless today, Balentien continues to lead the league in slugging (.711).
  • Despite having taken some time off, Ishikawa now leads the league in wild pitches (5).
  • Despite being tied for the Central League lead in losses (6), Ishikawa doesn’t have the worst winning percentage on the team (Yagi has won one fewer game while losing six–.143 winning percentage). For the record, Ishikawa has won two games so far in 2013. His winning percentage is .250.

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