Apr 10th 2014, @ Chunichi

April 10th, 2014 

Tokyo Swallows 6Chunichi Logo

Chunichi Dragons 8

Streak: Lost 4  Last 5: WLLLL

(Nagoya Dome)

The Swallows came into tonight’s game still looking for their first road win of the season. On the mound for the Swallows was my new man-crush Masato “LGRTR” Furuno, because if Ogawa is the only starter worth believing in I feel all hope is lost. Unfortunately my faith in Furuno was misplaced this night, but my faith in the sophomore will not wane unless I find out that “Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble” is no longer his entrance song.

W: Tajima (1-1)
L: Ishiyama (1-2)
S: Iwase (2)

 Swallows Dragons
1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)1Yohei Ohshima (CF)
2Shingo Kawabata (3B)2Masahiro Araki (2B)
3Lastings Milledge (LF)3Hector Luna (3B)
4Wladimir Balentien (RF)4Ryosuke Hirata (RF)
5Yuhei (Takai) (CF)5Michihiro Ogasawara (1B)
6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)6Kazuhiro Wada (LF)
7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)7Naomichi Donoue (SS)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Motonobu Tanishige (C)
9Masato Furuno (P)9Shunta Wakamatsu (P)

The Dragons trotted out rookie Wakamatsu to make his first pro start. While his start was far from solid, it was enough to best his second year counterpart. Wakamatsu allowed 3 runs over tour innings of work. Furuno had an ugly outing allowing 6 runs in five innings of work half of which came on Wada’s career 301st homer in the fourth inning. 6-4 Dragons after five innings.

The Swallows actually managed to tie the game against the Dragons’ bullpen getting solo jacks in the sixth inning from Balentien and another by Yuhei in the seventh. 6-6 All after seven. Unfortunately Ishiyama wasn’t able to hold the tie in the eighth inning starting the inning off with a Luna single, followed by a Hirata homer. 8-6 Dragons FINAL (You can probably expect a demotion for Ishiyama who has allowed runs in three of his five appearances this season.)

In all the teams combined for 30 (!) hits (15 each) over the whole game including two homeruns from each side. The telling stat however was that the Swallows pitchers managed ZERO strikeouts, while giving up three more walks than their Dragons counterparts. The results fit the Swallows’ performance this season in which they feature the CL’s second best batting average (.318) while sporting the CL’s second worst ERA (6.62). Earlier today, NPB announced that this year’s baseballs were livelier than last year’s balls and were performing above the specified standards in terms of liveliness. It seems that the 2014 Swallows are both taking advantage and being victimized by the ball.

The Swallows are tied for last place in the CL with Yokohama with a 3-7 record. The Swallows will move to Yokohama over the weekend to fight their way out of the CL cellar. Ogawa will make the start in tomorrow’s game making his first road start of the season, with the hope of securing the team’s first road win of the season.

We need more of this...

We need more of this…

...and less of this.

…and less of this.


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.