Jul 2nd 2014, @ Hanshin

July 2nd, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 0

Hanshin Tigers 1

Streak: Lost 3  Last 5: LWLLL

(Koshien Stadium)

W: Iwata (5-3)
L: Ishiyama (1-3; 5.46 ERA)
S: Oh (16 S)

Tokyo solved their pitching woes for an evening, but the bats could not come up with hits when it mattered as Hanshin stole one in Koshien.

Morioka (SS)1Uemoto (2B)
Ueda (CF)2Yamato (CF)
Yamada (2B)3Toritani (SS)
Kawabata (3B)4Gomez (1B)
Yuhei (RF)5Murton (LF)
Tanaka (1B)6Fukudome (RF)
Noguchi (LF)7Imanari (3B)
Nakamura (C)8Umeno (C)
Ishiyama (P)9Iwata (P)

Ishiyama was summoned from the bullpen to help out in the rotation, and though he has mostly struggled in a relief role this season, he shone in his first start of 2014.

The only run of the game was scored in the bottom of the 1st. Yamato reached base with a one-out single, and was replaced at first by Toritani after he grounded out to third for out number two. What followed proved fatal, as Ishiyama played a role in his ultimate downfall. The pitcher noticed Toritani creeping a little too keenly toward second, and duly stepped of the mound and threw to first, but he fluffed the throw as it flew into the dirt and past first, allowing the runner to reach second.

The mistake......

The mistake……


Gomez was next up and he didn’t miss the chance to punish the error, hitting one to left which scored Toritani from second for 1-0 Hanshin.

.....and the punishment.

…..and the punishment

The Swallows then created plenty of chances to get back into the game against Tigers’ starter Iwata, but fell short each time, the key frames being the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

In the 3rd, a Nakamura double, and walks for Ishiyama and Ueda loaded the bases with two outs for Yamada who could only strike out swinging to end the inning.

In the 4th, a Kawabata single and Yuhei double put men in scoring positions with no outs on the board. But Tanaka and Noguchi both struck out, which allowed Iwata the luxury of walking Nakamura to get to Ishiyama, who could only ground out to third to end another wasteful inning.

And in the 5th, singles from Morioka and Ueda put two on with no outs. This led to an unnecessary Tak-bunt as Yamada’s bat was sacrificed to move both runners into scoring positions with one out on the board. And it turned out they could have done with that extra out as a K for Kawabata and a ground out for Yuhei stranded yet more runners.

Tokyo again put a man in scoring position in the 6th, with a Noguchi one-out double setting the table once more, but once again the bats couldn’t bring home that elusive tying run.

After Iwata departed, the Tigers’ bullpen duo of Fukuhara and Oh brought it home for the bad guys, 1-0 Hanshin Final.

Game Notage

  • Ishiyama’s final line: 5 IP / 80 P / 3 H / 3 K / 2 BB / 1 R / 0 ER. He surprised me with his excellence and made a nice change from the 19 runs given up by Swallows’ starters over the course of the prior two games. Let’s hope he can reproduce a similar performance if called upon again.
  • The ever improving Chris Carpenter gave up a solitary hit in each of his two innings of work, and Yamamoto continued the positive theme with a scoreless one-hit 8th.
  • Ueda and Kawabata both had two hit evenings, and only Yamada failed to hit out of the starting 1-8 slots. Indeed the Swallows out hit their opposition 9-6, but that didn’t mean shit as they couldn’t muster that key hit.
  • Tokyo will try to avoid a sweep tomorrow evening as Yagi takes the mound for the Swallows.
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