Apr 29th 2014, @ Yomiuri

April 29th, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 4FYG

Yomiuri Giants 5

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LLWWL

(Tokyo Dome)

W: Sugano (5-0; 1.89 ERA)
L: Yamamoto (1-2; 3.46)

A top of the 9th inning three-run Hatakeyama go-ahead home run looked to have given Tokyo a stunning late come from behind win against Sugano’s incestuous Giants. However, these being the 2014 Swallows and all, well, you can predict how this one ended.

Yamada (2B)1Sakamoto (SS)
Ueda (RF)2Kataoka (2B)
Kawabata (3B)3Ch*no (RF)
Balentien (LF)4Anderson (LF)
Yuhei (CF)5Murata (3B)
Hatakeyama (1B)6Abe (C)
Araki (SS)7Lopez (1B)
Nakamura (C)8Hashimoto (CF)
Yagi (P)9Sugano (P)

Yagi started this one for the birds, and it looked as though it was going to be a long evening for both him and the Swallows in the 1st, as a Kataoka solo homer and three more hits made it 2-0 Yomiuri.

Yagi then settled down to work five innings of bend-not-break pitching, letting plenty of men on base (notably loaded bases in the 4th, and two men in scoring positions in the 5th), but always getting out of the jams with the deficit still at two. His final line: 5 IP / 93 P / 9 H / 1 BB / 1 HBP / 2 ER.

That Yomiuri lead was then halved in the top of the 6th, as a pinch-hit Imanami double to the left field corner and run scoring ground out from Ueda one out later made it 2-1.

Kenta Abe then came in from the ‘pen to work decent 6th and 7th frames allowing just the one hit, before Akiyoshi came in for the 8th and gave up a solo homer to Lopez to put the score at 3-1.

Rather than turn things over to his none-too-shabby bullpen, Yomiuri manager Hara then opted to send out his precious brethren Sugano in the top of the 9th to allow him the chance to chalk up a complete game victory. However singles from Kawabata and Yuhei put two on for Hatake with two outs, and he clubbed one over the wall in left (no.3 for the year) to put the Swallows ahead, 4-3 Tokyo. 

Sugano and the whole stadium were left stunned, but I shall not dwell on those sweet, oh so fleeting feelings of baseball related ecstasy, because just as Hatake giveth, the bullpen taketh away. *single tear falls down cheek*

The fall guy this time was Yamamoto, who gave up a one-out double and single to tie the game up at 4-4, before Murata hit one off the wall in left to make it a sickening 5-4 Yomiuri Final.

Game Notage

  • This one had shades of the recent 9-8 heartbreaker, a buzzing glorious high followed by abject devastation at the hands of an overweight chimp. These 2014 Swallows are not big on offering feel good moments for their fan base.
  • As mentioned in this week’s Bullets, with the Nishiura experiment on hold at short, Araki got a start for this one and went 0 for 3.
  • The two teams will be back in the stain-dome tomorrow evening, with Furuno taking on Evil-Chris Seddon on the mound.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto