Apr 7th 2015, vs Chunichi

April 7th, 2015

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 1

Tokyo Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 2   Last 5: WWWLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

W: Ohno (1-0)
L: Naruse (1-1 / 3.27 ERA)

The irradiated cockroach that just won’t die AKA the Chunichi Dragons won it’s seventh on the bounce as the Swallows were shut out over the distance (by an opposing starter) for the second time in 2015.

Oshima (CF)1Araki (LF)
Araki (2B)2Kawabata (3B)
Hirata (RF)3Yamada (2B)
Luna (3B)4Yuhei (CF)
Fukuda (1B)5Hatakeyama (1B)
Hernandez (SS)6Tanaka (RF)
Fujii (LF)7Nakamura (C)
Takeyama (C)8Ohbiki (S)
Ohno (P)9Naruse (P)



Naruse made his second start in a Tokyo uniform and was better than in his prior start, going an inning deeper, and allowing two runs less, than on his debut. Unlike his debut however, the run support was non-existent and he would be tagged with his first L of the season.

After allowing just a solitary hit over the first five, Naruse came unstuck in the 5th. He started to toil a touch, throwing sixteen pitches in total to the first two batters of the inning, the end result of which was two men on via back-to-back walks. Pitcher Ohno bunted the runners along, before the perennial annoyance that is Ohshima chipped one into left to bring home what would be the game’s only run, 1-0 Chunichi.

Naruse would pitch one more hitless inning, posting a very decent final line of 6 IP / 107 P / 2 H / 5 K / 3 BB / 1 ER.

The bats meanwhile, could get little going against Ohno, but they didn’t help their own cause at times. In the top of the 1st, Yamada got on with a two-out single, but the chance to pressurise Ohno early was wasted as he was picked off at first with Yuhei at the plate.

In the 5th, Hatake led off the inning with a walk, but the momentum was sapped as the returning Tanaka hit into a double play.

In the 6th inning, the Swallows got their first man in scoring position after hits from Ihara (in for Naruse) and Kawabata put men on first and second with two outs, only for Yamada to ground out to third.

Then in the 7th inning, back-to-back one out hits from Hatake and Tanaka were wasted as Nakamura hit into an inning ending double play.

And finally in the 9th, a one out infield single for Yamada was followed up by a weak fly out from Yuhei, followed by a wild pitch which saw Yamada advance to second, giving Hatake the chance to tie the game with a hit. But alas he could only manage to go down swinging to become Ohno’s sixth and final strikeout victim of the evening, 1-0 Chunichi Final.

Game Notage

  • Taking the positives from an exceedingly frustrating evening, the Swallows pitching corps held up their end of the bargain once more, despite creaking a little in the process.
  • Tokuyama struggled a touch in the 7th, giving up a walk and a double (to Ohno no less), before intentionally walking Ohshima to load the bases with two outs. In came Nakazawa to face the pinch hitting Ogasawara, who was 3 for 3  with a walk and 2 RBIs in his pinch-hitting duties so far this season. And Nakazawa did his job well, getting the artist formally known as Guts to fly out to centre.
  • In the 8th, Furuno allowed three hits and a deadball but managed to escape the inning with the bases juiced as he struck out Takeyama.
  • The only reliever to not struggle his way through an inning was Logan Ondrusek, as he worked another impressive inning, pitching a perfect 9th.
  • The by-product of all these zeros being posted by Swallows pitchers, is an NPB leading team ERA of 1.52.
  • Tonight’s game was played in a mist of light rain, with barely 10,000 folks turning up. This was possibly not helped by the new-for-2015 Swallows smartphone app reporting in error that the Game was rained off some 25 minutes or so before first pitch. GO GO SWALLOWS!
  • The teams will come again tomorrow evening, with starter Ishiyama tasked with trying to wipe the oh-so-annoying smiles off Chunichi faces as he takes on his opposite number Valdes.
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