Sep 23rd 2013, @ Hanshin

September 23rd, 2013

Hanshin Tigers 2

Tokyo Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLTWL

(Koshien Stadium)

Muranaka arguably had one of his best starts of the year today.

W: Muranaka (4-8; 4.74 ERA)
L: Messenger (12-7; 2.83)

But it was never going to be enough because Randy Messenger absolutely dominated the Swallows offense. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for video highlights (you might need to use a proxy server if you reside outside of Japan).

Yamada (2B)1Nishioka (2B)
Ueda (CF)2Shunsuke (CF)
Kawabata (3B)3Murton (LF)
Balentien (LF)4Toritani (SS)
Yuichi (1B)5Arai, Jr. (1B)
Iihara (RF)6Uemoto (3B)
Morioka (SS)7Shibata (RF)
Nakamura (C)8Shimizu (C)
Muranaka (P)9Messenger (P)

With Messenger having already pitched three perfect innings, the Tigers completed all of the scoring that the fans would see today in the bottom of that third frame. A two-out rally began when Nishioka singled up the middle, and then he was brought home on Shunsuke’s “triple” (would have been a double if Balentien and Ueda hadn’t run into each other). Shunsuke scored on Murton’s ensuing single just inside the line in right, and that, my friends, was the game.

0-2 Final.

Messenger went the distance on 116 pitches while allowing just three hits. His six Ks looked mighty nice against a big bagel in the walks category.

Muranaka made it seven full innings, and despite two wild pitches, he only allowed the two earned runs from seven hits. He also struck out four.

Barnette pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the birds.

The only starting players with hits were Yamada and Iihara. Both singles. Tokyo’s third single came by way of pinch hitter extraordinaire, Shinya Miyamoto.

Starting tomorrow, Tokyo will host seven home games in a row. The first three are against Yomiuri, the last series of the regular season. After that it’s a hodge-podge of makeup games.

Tomorrow’s game will see Tokyo’s Ishikawa take on Yomiuri’s Utsumi.

Game starts at 6PM.


  • This game was finished in just two hours and 32 minutes.
  • Tokyo is still 3.5 games behind fifth-placed Yokohama.
  • The Swallows have scored a total of 537 runs so far this season. That’s good for third in the Central League behind Yokohama (590) and Yomiuri (570). However, the team has also allowed 643 runs which puts us in fifth, just seven runs ahead of Yokohama in last. However, we have by far the worst run differential in the league at -106.
  • Today was the first time that Balentien didn’t reach base since Tokyo’s home game against Hanshin on September 13th.

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

  • Today’s loss means that the birds are mathematically outside of the playoff picture.

    The best the team can hope for at this point is a fourth place finish.