Apr 2nd 2015, vs Hanshin

April 2nd, 2015

Hanshin Tigers 2

Tokyo Swallows 9

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLWLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Swallows fans at Jingu were treated to fireworks on and off the field as the Swallows demolished Hanshin 9-2.

W:  Orlando Roman (1-0)
L:  Iwasaki (0-1)`


 Tigers Swallows
1Takeshi Toritani (SS)1Takahiro Araki (LF)
2Hiroki Uemoto (2B)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Tsuyoshi Nishioka (3B)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Mauro Gomez (1B)4Yuhei (Takai) (CF)
5Matt Murton (LF)5Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
6Kosuke Fukudome (RF)6Hiroyasu Tanaka (RF)
7Ryutaro Umeno (C)7Yuhei Nakamura (C)
8Yamato (Maeda) (CF)8Keiji Ohbiki (SS)
9Suguru Iwasaki (P)9Orlando Roman (P)

After nearly a week of nonexistent power and lack of timely hitting, it was only a matter of time before the bats show the form that made them the best offense in 2014. Fans eagerly waited for anybody not named Yuhei to make a contribution on offense; especially the new starting shortstop who had done diddly squat since joining the club.

After both starting pitchers, Iwasaki and Roman threw up zeros to start the game, Hanshin drew first blood in the top of the fifth with a Nishioka RBI single. Gomez then walked to load the bases with two outs, giving Murton the opportunity to blow the game wide open. However, Roman battled and got Murton to ground out, shifting momentum to the Swallows. 1-0 Tigers

Swallows quickly responded to the measly run in the bottom of the fifth, Araki singling to center before Kawabata quickly doubled him home. Yamada then followed by crushing a chest high fastball deep into the left field stands for his first of many home runs this season. A Hatakeyama single then put an early end to Iwasaki’s night and it came down to hitless-on-the-season Ohbiki with a chance to break it wide open. However, unlike every other Ohbiki at-bat this season, he laced a double to center and knocked in two more runs. 5-1 Swallows

Things then stayed quiet for a few more innings (note: Hanshin did score one more meaningless run) until the bottom of the eighth when the Swallows loaded the bases with Yamada at the plate. In what was the perfect ending to a perfect night, Yamada belted the ball into the left field stands for a grand slam. Upon video review, the umpires chose wisely and gave Yamada the home run. 9-2 Swallows

What seemed like a difficult game for the Swallows on paper turned into a complete laugher as the Swallows improved to 3-3 on the season. Orlando Roman with a solid five innings  of work, and Yamada with two homers, six RBIs were the standouts of the game. Fingers crossed that the pitching staff continues its central league leading hot streak and the batting carries over to the weekend when the Swallows travel to Yokohama to start a three game set against DeNA.


Unexpected fireworks at Meiji Jingu in a completely random inning. Perhaps this is the secret to solving the Swallows offensive woes?

Bonus tidbits:

– Through six games, the Swallows have a team ERA of 1.67. They finished last season at 4.62.

– The Swallows won only eight of 24 games (.333) against DeNA last season. 

– I tried chicken wings from KFC. Four wings for 500 yen. The wings are sauce less and have a decent amount of meat on them with a subtle kick. If they were priced at 100 each, I would probably order again but alas they are not. Final rating: 3 Hatakeyamas out of 5.

– if you know any foods that I should try to Jingu, please let me know. 

  • Ryo Uchida

    Thanks for the write up. It was great meeting the mighty Tsubamengun again this year, in what turned out to be a fabulous first night out at Jingu for me.
    I really like Yamada batting third. It makes more sense, while our two outfield imports are out, and Ohbiki’s RBI was really dramatic, especially since he struck out when the bases were loaded in his last at bat. There was a hardcore Ohbiki fan sitting next to me, and she literally was in tears when the dude made it to second. Love the drama.
    Also, did Torukuya always just randomly walk around the bleachers before? The freak terrified my daughter.

    • Blaine Campbell

      I don’t blame her, I’m a grownup and Torukuya scares me.

    • Good to see you too, Ryo. Glad the fam could see plenty of umbrellas last night!

    • “The freak terrified my daughter.”

      He is either the stuff of nightmares, or the punchline to a really shitty joke, depending on your perspective.

  • Welcome to the team, Dan. And a great first report, indeed! Loved the Ohbiki rope to left center because he was already starting to get a bit timid at the plate.

    Three Hatakeyamas out of five, huh? Unfortunately, I think the majority of the food in the outfield concourse comes in at that ranking or below. Maybe try the ja-ja-men near exit 18?

  • Kozo

    Welcome aboard Dan!

    The better food options in the outfield tend to be on the left field side.
    If you sit in the infield you can get BBQ ribs.

  • Who is this Dan Yoshimoto?