Apr 1st 2015, vs Hanshin

April 1st, 2015

Hanshin Tigers 2

Tokyo Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 1  Last 5: WLLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Two defensive plays, one bad and one good, proved to be the difference as the Swallows fell to the Tigers in the rain.

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W: Iwamoto (1-0)
L: Ishiyama (0-1)
S: Oh (2)

 Tigers Swallows
1Takeshi Toritani (SS)1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
2Hiroki Uemoto (2B)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Tsuyoshi Nishioka (3B)3Hiroyasu Tanaka (RF)
4Mauro Gomez (1B)4Yuhei (Takai) (CF)
5Matt Murton (LF)5Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
6Kosuke Fukudome (RF)6Yuichi (Matsumoto) (LF)
7Ryutaro Umeno (C)7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)
8Yamato (Maeda) (CF)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Akira Iwamoto (P)9Taichi Ishiyama (P)

Hiroyasu Tanaka started in the outfield  again as Lasting Milledge was scratched for the second straight game. (More details on Milledge at the end of the report.) Morioka started at shortstop against the right-handed Iwamoto.

A thick mist/super light rain combined with a strong wind blowing in kept the ball the the park all night, which benefited both pitchers. Ishiyama gave up hits more hits in the early going compared to his counterpart but the score was tied 0-0 going into the sixth inning.

Ishiyama got two quick outs off of Gomes and Murton to start the inning, and it looked like he got Fukudome to fly out to left to end the inning. Unfortunately Yuichi completely misread the ball and let it bounce off his glove for two bases. Ishiyama proceeded to walk Umeda on four pitches, and then gave up a double to Yamato to score two unearned runs. 2-0 Tigers

The Swallows got a run back in the seventh after Hiroyasu opened the inning with a bloop hit to right, and Yuhei followed with a monster double off the center field wall to put men in scoring position with no out. Hatake only managed a weak line out to first, and Yuichi got a run with a lazy fly ball to left not unlike the one he fluffed earlier. 2-1 Tigers

The Swallows had a chance to win the game in the eighth. The Tigers pulled Iwamoto for Matsuda. After getting a quick out from Nakamura, Matsuda allowed a big double off the wall to pinch hitting Araki. The Tigers pitched around Yamada and walked him on five pitches. Matsuda fell behind Kawabata 2-0 and threw a fastball that Kawabata punished. While it was clear from the right field stands that the ball was headed to the wall, Fukudome played it like he was going to make a catch at the wall. Right before the ball hit the wall Fukudome turned around ready to play the bounce, Fukudome’s acting kept the runners from starting and his quick throw back to the infield got the ball back to home with time to spare. While there was some question as to whether Umeno applied a proper tag, the call at the plate was out. Fukudome’s play turned a potential game swinging double into a long single and out. Ando came in for Matsuda and promptly retired Hiroyasu to end the threat.

Araki was out at the plate thanks to a heads up play by Fukudome.

Araki was out at the plate thanks to a heads up play by Fukudome.

Oh came in to close out the game and while he did allow two runners managed to shut the door on the Swallows. 2-1 Tigers FINAL

Game Notes

  • Ishiyama finished the night with a respectable line that read 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 BB (1 IBB), 5 K, 2 R, 0 ER.
  • Furuno came in after Ishiyama and pitched two innings of shutout ball, and Ondrusek pitched a perfect ninth for the Swallows.
  • Word came out before the game that Lastings Milledge will be deactivated with a pulled muscle in his right shoulder. Milledge will not be able to throw for a week, and his status will be re-evaluated after that time. It seems Milledge could be out from two to four weeks.
  • Through five games, the Swallows are in a four-way tie for third/last place with a 2-3 record.
  • The Swallows boast the lowest number of runs allowed (10) while also scoring the least amount of runs (10).
  • Orlando Roman will get the start for the rubber match against the Tigers. The Tigers will counter with sophomore Suguru Iwasaki.
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.