Jul 30th 2014, @ Hanshin

July 30th, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 4

Hanshin Tigers 5

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LLLWL

(Koshien Stadium)

W: Saiuchi (1-1)
L: Ishiyama (1-5; 5.11 ERA)
S: Oh (25 S)

As has become the tradition of late, the Swallows couldn’t follow up the previous evening’s win with another, and indeed haven’t managed back-to-back wins since back on July 5th/8th. Oh, and they are now 5-15 in the joyous month of July. Good news: July is nearly over. Bad news: 2014 isn’t.

Yamada (2B)1Uemoto (2B)
Morioka (SS)2Imanari (3B)
Kawabata (3B)3Toritani (SS)
Balentien (LF)4Gomez (1B)
Yuhei (RF)5Murton (LF)
Hatakeyama (1B)6Fukudome (RF)
Takeuchi (CF)7Itoh (CF)
Aikawa (C)8Umeno (C)
Ishiyama (P)9Futagami (P)

Tokyo took advantage of a shaky Futagami in the top of the 1st, as a lead off walk for Yamada was followed up by a Morioka double for 1-0 Tokyo. Kawabata then singled for 2-0, before Coco hit another single to put two on. Yuhei gave the Tigers a huge helping hand by hitting into a double play, and Hanshin would escape the inning with the lead at just the two.

Ishiyama was no more composed in the bottom of the inning, with two singles and a double halving the lead, 2-1.

The Swallows had a big chance to break this one open in the top of the 4th, as a Yuhei double, Hatake single, and Takeuchi walk loaded the bases for Aikawa, and the veteran catcher singled to left to make it 3-1 with the bases still juiced with no outs. Futagami was gone, and Saiuchi came in to stop the bleeding, striking out Ishiyama and Yamada, before getting Morioka to ground out to second and the juice was wasted.

And the Tigers would ultimately punish that wastefulness in the bottom of the inning, though the Swallows helped them to do it. A walk and a single put men on first and second with one out, with Arai the Younger coming in to bat in the pitcher’s spot. And he obliged by hitting a tame grounder to third which should have got Ishiyama out of the inning, but Yamada fluffed the relay throw to first, making it 3-2 with Arai at second on the error. The Tigers didn’t waste their second chance, as a one run double and two run single made it 5-3 Hanshin, and Ishiyama was done. Matsuoka came in to strike out Gomez to end the inning but the damage was done.

The many faces of post-benching Ishiyama

The many faces of post-benching Ishiyama

Tokyo scored what would be their final run in the 6th, as consecutive two-out singles from Aikawa, Ihara, and Yamada made it 5-4, but Morioka grounded out to strand two more.

Their last chance to draw level came in the 8th, Aikawa hitting a two-out double, his third hit of the night, but Tanaka could only ground out to third to end the inning.

Oh allowed a single in the 9th, but he slammed the door in Tsubakuro’s face for a 5-4 Hanshin Final.

Morioka opens the scoring in the 1st

Morioka opens the scoring in the 1st

Game Notage

  • Ishiyama’s final line: 3.2 IP / 71 P / 7 H / 1 K / 3 BB / 5 R / 4 ER. He suffered from bad luck once more as he was boned by that Yamada error, but ultimately he just wasn’t as sharp as in most of his prior starts.
  • Aside from Aikawa, Morioka was the only other guy to manage more than a solitary hit.
  • Balentien went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts.
  • Tokyo are not the only team donning green this year, with Hanshin seemingly paying tribute to the nation of Australia with their uniforms for this series.
  • The Swallows have their last chance to register a series win in July tomorrow evening, Muranaka will take on Nohmi 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