Aug 12th 2014, @ Hiroshima

August 12th, 2014

Tokyo Swallows 6Hiroshima Carp logo clean

Hiroshima Carp 5

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: WWLLW

(Mazda Zooooom Zoooooom Stadium)

W: Ishiyama (2-5 ; 5.16 ERA)
L: Nomura (4-5 ; 3.66)
S: Barnette (5S ; 3.94)

At the 7th attempt, Ishiyama finally got his first win as a starter as Tokyo won an eventful game in Hiroshima.

Yamada (2B)1Dobayashi (RF)
Ueda (CF)2Kikuchi (2B)
Kawabata (3B)3Maru (CF)
Balentien (LF)4Eldred (LF)
Yuhei (RF)5Ka'aihue (1B)
Hatakeyama (1B)6Soyogi (3B)
Morioka (SS)7Tanaka (SS)
Nakamura (C)8Aizawa (C)
Isihiyama (P)9Nomura (P)

Ishiyama deals

Ishiyama deals

It looked like Ishiyama’s quest for that elusive win would have to wait another week after a 1st inning in which the Carp notched up a solo home run for Kikuchi, two doubles, and a single, with a dead ball thrown in for good measure. Which all added up to an early 3-0 Hiroshima lead.

The Carp however were feeling rather generous as they helped the Swallows flip the game on it’s head in the top of the 2nd. After Hatake singled against Carp starter Nomura to lead things off, Morioka hit one right at first baseman Kila, who let the sharply hit ball pass straight through him, the error putting men on the corners for Nakamura. And Kila wasn’t satisfied with the one error, as the ball once more found it’s way to the Hawaiian off Nakamura’s bat, and though he managed to field the ball this time, his attempt to kickstart a double play by throwing wildly to second ended up with the ball in the outfield, Hatake scoring, and two men in scoring position for the birds, 3-1.

Ishiyama struck out for the first out of the inning, with the second out coming from a Yamada fly ball to centre for 3-2. A little chip up the middle from Ueda tied things up at 3-3, before Kawabata whacked a double to the wall in right and the Swallows found themselves with the lead, 4-3 Tokyo.

And an error played a part in Tokyo’s fifth run too. In the 4th, Yamada got on board with a one-out single, and then attempted to steal second, with Carp catcher Aizawa’s throw ending up off target which allowed Yamada to make it to third on the error. A Kawabata infield hit (chopper to second) scored Tetsuto and the Swallows had a two run lead, 5-3. All five of the runs given up by Nomura were of the unearned variety.

Ishiyama was done after five, and Kiya came in to pitch the bottom of the 6th. After a double, ground out to short (out made at third), single, and walk, Matsuoka came in to try to clean things up facing Eldred with the bases loaded. And he should have got out of the jam unscathed, as Eldred made contact with a checked swing with the ball dribbling in front of the plate, Nakamura duly applied the tag for out number two, and then for reasons only known to himself he turned to throw to first, then second, before finally realising that a charging Dobayashi was mere feet away from home, the realisation coming just too late to apply the tag and Hiroshima pulled within one, 5-4. Kila would then fly out to third to end the inning.

In the 7th, with Matsuoka still on the mound, a fly out for Soyogi, a double, single, and intentional walk loaded the bases for Dobayashi. And an excellent combination of quick reactions and heads-up baseball from Yamada got Tokyo out of the jam, as he snagged a sharp liner to second on the run before sprinting to put a foot on the bag before the runner could dive back for out number three.

In the top of the 8th, Yamada was once again involved, singling to lead off the inning before being brought home by a Yuichi single to right two outs later, 6-4.

Another solo shot from Kikuchi off Akiyoshi in the bottom of the 8th made it 6-5, and a Maru double put the tying run at second with no outs on the board. Akiyoshi held his nerve to strike out Eldred, before Maru read a Kimura fly ball to centre all wrong, being picked off at second after Ueda had caught the ball in centre and the inning was over.

All that was left was for Tony Barnette to shut things down in the 9th, and despite allowing a single to Soyogi to lead off the inning, he displayed good control of his stuff, inducing a double play from Tanaka, before striking out Ishihara to end the game with a 6-5 Tokyo Final.

Ishiyama's in no way unnatural post-game victory pose

Ishiyama’s in no way unnatural post-game victory pose

Game Notage

  • Ishiyama’s final line: 5 IP / 99 P / 7 H / 3 K / 2 BB / 1 HBP / 3 ER. He calmed down well after his shaky start, and his first win as a starter is long overdue. Well done Taichi!
  • Hiroshima starter Nomura however, must have been fraternizing with Yagi (AKA the world’s unluckiest pitcher) before the game, with all of those unearned runs.
  • Yamada racked up three more hits and his average is now a whopping .342. Kawabata, Balentien, and Morioka all notched up two hits each. All starters bar Ishiyama registered at least a hit, as did both pinch-hitters, Yuichi and Ihara. This Swallows offence deserves so much more than sitting in 6th.
  • A healthy summer holiday crowd of 31,524 folks were there to witness this one, which lasted 4 hours and 12 minutes.
  • Tomorrow’s game will see Chris Narveson take the mound for the Swallows, with the Carp countering with Bryan Bullington. GAIJIN POWER!

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