Jun 8th 2013, vs Hokkaido

June 8th, 2013

Nippon HamHokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 8

Tokyo Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: WLWLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball at Jingu. Unfortunately for Swallows’ fans the afternoon was ruined after one bad inning.

W: Wolfe (3-3) L: Ogawa (5-2)

 Fighters Swallows
1Dai-Kang Yoh (CF)1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
2Kenji Obiki (SS)2Keizo Kawashima (SS)
3Michel Abreu (1B)3Lastings Milledge (LF)
4Sho Nakata (LF)4Wladimir Balentien (RF)
5Shohei Otani (RF)5Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
6Eiichi Koyano (3B)6Ryoji Aikawa (C)
7Takahiro Imanami (2B)7Shinichi Takeuchi (CF)
8Shota Ohno (C)8Takahiro Araki (3B)
9Brian Wolfe (P)9Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)

Ogawa started the game for the Swallows and looked good through 2 innings. Ogawa’s start was complemented by a rare first inning offensive display in the first by the Swallows. Back-to-back singles by Yamada and Keizo started the game. Although it’s important to note that Keizo’s single was of the bunting variety. After Milledge grounded out to put men on the corners, and Balentien and Hatake delivered runs with back-to-back singles. 2-0 Swallows

But the good times did not continue to roll as Ogawa had arguably his worst inning as a pro. The Fighters scored 6 runs on 7 hits in the third inning. I’ve blocked the details out of my mind, and for the mental health of our faithful readers I will refrain from describing the events. Needless to say, the Swallows were in a deep hole early in the game. 6-2 Fighters

Ogawa lasted one more inning and pitched a decent inning before he was taken out for a pinch hitter in a two-men-on situation in the bottom of the fourth. Unfortunately, Iwamura wasn’t able to convert the chance, and it was bullpen time for the Swallows. Kiya came in for his second pro appearance and gave up a squeeze play run after letting men get on via hit and walk. 7-2 Fighters

Kiya pitched to start the sixth but was relieved by the newly-returned Kyuko after giving up 2 hits while getting 2 outs. Kyuko wasn’t able to staunch the bleeding and Koyano got a hit to score another run. 8-2 Fighters

The Swallows added a run in the seventh off of Kagiya off of 2 out back-to-back-to-back singles by Milledge, Balentien, and Hatakeyama. 8-3 Fighters

The final run of the game came in the form of a Balentien solo shot to left. While the homerun was impressive, it wasn’t quite the awe inspiring power shots Coco has launched into the stands recently. Either way it was just 1 run, and the game ended soon after. 8-4 Fighters

Both teams actually got 15 hits and 2 walks each, but the Fighters managed to get theirs in more opportune times, and were more aggressive on the bases. The two teams will meet again at 15:00 at Jingu with Chris Leroux scheduled to face Masaru Takeda.

Ogawa doesn't have a good day at the mound.

Ogawa doesn’t have a good day at the mound.

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.