Sept 15th 2014, vs Hanshin

September 15th, 2014

Hanshin Tigers 5

Tokyo Swallows 3

Streak: Lost 1  Last 5: WLWDL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Another day, another wasted Chris Narveson start. JIngu Stadium was packed because of the National holiday and for “Balentien Memorial Day” which marked the one year anniversary of Balentien breaking the NPB single season home run record. There was some speculation prior to the game that tongiht would be Balentien’s last game of the season, although it appears that those rumors aren’t quite true. (More later.)

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W: Iwazaki (5-4)
L: Narveson (4-10)
S: Oh (35)

 Tigers Swallows
1Hiroki Uemoto (2B)1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
2Yamato (Maeda) (CF)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Takashi Toritani (SS)3Yasushi Iihara (RF)
4Mauro Gomez (1B)4Wladimir Balentien (LF)
5Matt Murton (LF)5Yuhei (Takai) (CF)
6Takahiro Arai (3B)6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
7Keisuke Kano (RF)7Ryoji Aikawa (C)
8Kazunari Tsuruoka (C)8Ryota Yachi (SS)
9Suguru Iwazaki (P)9Chris Narveson (P)

The Swallows scored a textbook small-ball run in the first inning. Yamada lead off the inning with a double, Kawabata followed with a bunt, and the run eventually came home on a solid Balentien single. 1-0 Swallows

The Swallows wasted a bases loaded chance in the second inning, but otherwise it was a tense pitchers’ duel between Narveson and Tigers’ rookie Iwazaki. Narveson never allowed more than a single runner through his first seven innings. Unfortunately he did allow a solo shot to Murton to start the sixth to tie the score at 1. 1-1 All

Iwazaki was almost as crisp after his first two innings, but found himself with a man on second twice (fifth inning error, and seventh inning Narveson lead off double). But the game was still tied 1-1 going into the eighth inning with 93 pitches logged on Narveson’s arm.

The Tigers’ eighth inning started with an Arai single that would’ve been a double had it not been for Balentien’s arm, followed by a Kano sac bunt. The Tigers brought in Sekimoto to pinch hit for the catcher, and one pitch later Sekimoto hit a run scoring double to straight center. 2-1 Tigers The Tigers brought in Nishioka to pinch hit and Narveson gave up a walk that ended his night. Matsuoka was brought out to quell the flames but ended up dumping more fuel on the fire. Matsuoka walked Uemoto to load the bases, and then gave up a single up the middle for yet another run. 3-1 Tigers The Swallows sent Kyuko to face Toritani, and the Tigers’ captain smacked a clean single to center to score two more runs. 5-1 Tigers Yamanaka came into the game and made things “interesting” with a wild pitch and a IBB, but he did manage to get the final two outs of the inning.

The Tigers brought in Fukuhara to pitch the eighth inning. After getting Coco to fly out to center, Fukuhara gave up a single to Yuhei and a double to Hatake to put men in scoring position. Aikawa followed with a grounder that almost got past a diving Uemoto but was still good for a run. 5-2 Tigers The Swallows brought in Yuichi to pinch hit and the move paid off in the form of an RBI double. 5-3 Tigers With two outs in the eighth, the Tigers elected to call in their closer, Oh, for the final out of the inning. Morioka obliged with a first pitch fly out to left to end the threat.

Nakazawa pitched a clean ninth inning for the Swallows, and Oh finished the job he started in the eighth with a 1-2-3 ninth. 5-3 Tigers FINAL

Game Notes

  • Chris Narveson’s final line was 7.1 innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 4 earned runs allowed. Two of those earned runs were allowed by Matsuoka.
  • The loss puts the Swallows record at 64-71-3, which guarantees a sub-.500 record season.
  • The Swallows will send Tokuyama to the mound to face Iwata in tomorrow’s rematch.
Chris Narveson can't catch a break.

Chris Narveson can’t catch a break.

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he’s not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.