Sept 3rd 2014, vs Chunichi

September 3rd, 2014

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 3

Tokyo Swallows 7

Streak:  Won 1  Last 5: LWWLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo rode a surprisingly strong start from Tokuyama and a big sixth inning to a relatively easy victory.

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W: Tokuyama (1-1; 5.29 ERA)
L: Tajima (3-5; 5.22)

Tonite was actually Tokuyama’s first pro win, and it was a well-deserved win at that.

ChunichiOrderTokyo
Oshima (CF)1Yamada (2B)
Araki (2B)2Ueda (CF)
Fujii (LF)3Kawabata (3B)
Hirata (RF)4Hatakeyama (1B)
Luna (3B)5Yuhei (RF)
Morino (1B)6Iihara (LF)
Donoue (SS)7Morioka (SS)
Matsui (C)8Nakamura (C)
Asakura (P)9Tokuyama (P)

An annoying Morino double that enticed Ueda into a costly near miss resulted in the first run of the game in the second. Hirata scored from first.

0-1 Chunichi

The same combination of players combined for Chunichi’s second run in the fourth.

0-2 Chunichi

First top team win for the switch-hitting starter.

First top team win for the switch-hitting starter.

But Tokyo tied it up in their half of that frame. After Ueda struck out for the second time in as many at-bats, Kawabata pulled a 3-1 cutter from Asakura into the right field stands.

And one out later, Yuhei pounced on a low slider to tie the game at one. Incidentally, I think that was the hardest I’ve ever seen him hit a baseball.

2-2

Tokyo’s big inning came in the sixth when Asakura walked the first three batters he faced. Ueda worked an eight-pitch free base, but Kawabata and Hatakeyama both kept the bat on their shoulders and only had to watch five pitches each.

Yuhei then came through with a two-run single over Fujii’s head in left. Another run scored on Iihara’s grounder to third that Luna couldn’t handle (E5), and then Ogawa called for a bunt with Morioka (.308 AVG at the time) at the plate and runners on first and second. The plan backfired, and Yuhei was thrown out at third, but Nakamura’s single reloaded the bases, and Balentien was brought in to pinch hit for Tokuyama.

Balentien popped the first pitch high into the air in center, but it was enough to get Iihara home from third.

6-2 Tokyo

Chunichi added a run in the top of the seventh when Takahashi took Matsuoka yard on a 2-2 fastball that was up in the zone.

6-3 Tokyo

Yuhei put Balentien-level distance on that ball.

Yuhei put Balentien-level distance on that ball.

But Hatakeyama recaptured the four-run advantage with a solo shot of his own off of middle reliever, Mutou, later that inning.

7-3 Final

Barnette closed out the ninth on 17 pitches to secure the win for Tokuyama.

Tokuyama threw 97 pitches over six innings of work. He allowed just two runs from four hits, struck out four, and walked three. A surprisingly good start all around.

Game three of this series is scheduled for 6 PM tomorrow night with Ishikawa pitching for Tokyo. Chunichi plan to counter with Ono.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo’s more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it’s a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini