Apr 9th 2015, vs Chunichi

April 9th, 2015

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 2

Tokyo Swallows 3

Streak: Won 2   Last 5: WLLWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After joining the Swallows via a mid-season trade last year, Nagisa Arakaki was still looking for his first win as a Swallows. As has been the case recently the Swallows got some good innings out of their starter, and Arakaki got some timely offensive help to earn his first Swallows win.

W: Arakaki (1-0)
L: Muto (0-1)
S: Barnette (3)

 Dragons Swallows
1Yohei Oshima (CF)1Shingo Kawabata (3B)
2Kyohei Kamezawa (2B)2Masayoshi Miwa (LF)
3Ryosuke Hirata (RF)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Hector Luna (1B)4Yuhei (Takai) (CF)
5Ricardo Nanita (LF)5Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
6Anderson Hernandez (SS)6Hiroyasu Tanaka (RF)
7Shuhei Takahashi (3B)7Ryosuke Morioka (SS)
8Shingo Takeyama (C)8Akihisa Nishida (C)
9Yuta Muto (P)9Nagisa Arakaki (P)

The Swallows elected to start lefties Miwa and Morioka against the right-handed Muto. The Swallows also gave Nakamura his first night off of the season and started Nishida. I suspect Nishida got the start as Nakamura has shown he’s not the most adept at handling pitches in the dirt, an Arakaki specialty.

Arakaki looked better than his Dragons counterpart in the early going getting the Dragons batters to swing at his dirt balls and getting a fair number of strikeouts. Meanwhile Muto walked three batters in the first inning to load the bases but the Swallows didn’t manage to capitalize. Arakaki managed to uncork a wild pitch in the second inning but got out of the inning unscathed.

The Dragons started to get to Arakaki in the third as they got men on the corners, and in the fourth where they got the bases loaded with no out. Arakaki managed to get out of both of those innings, but he wasn’t as lucky in the fifth. Oshima got a one out hit to get on base and advanced to second on a groundout. Hirata cashed in Oshima with a hit to right to open the scoring. 1-0 Dragons Luna managed to execute a hit and run up the middle that put men on the corners with two out. Nanita followed with a single to extend the Dragons lead. 2-0 Dragons

Just as Arakaki finally cracked in the fifth, Muto did the same in the bottom of the inning. Kawabata laced a double to right with one out in the inning, and advanced to third on a Muto wild pitch. Miwa’s underrated bat cashed in Kawabata with a single. 2-1 Dragons Miwa put more pressure on Muto by stealing second, prompting the Dragons to walk Yamada. Yuhei flied out to right, but a bad throw by Hirata allowed both runners to advance. Hatake waddled to the plate and laced a grounder past the third baseman reminiscent of last night’s Hiroyasu sayonara hit. The single with both runners moving on contact flipped the score for the Swallows and put Arakaki in line for the win. 3-2 Swallows

Hatake did his best Hiroyasu impression to be tonight's hero.

Hatake did his best Hiroyasu impression to be tonight’s hero.

The reliever quartet of Tokuyama, Akiyoshi, Ondrusek, and Barnette each pitched an effective inning to preserve the score for the Swallows. 3-2 Swallows FINAL

Game Notes

  • Arakaki’s final line was 5.0 IP / 8 H / 2 BB / 5 K / 2 R / 2 ER. It was Arakaki’s first win since August 2013 when he was with the Hawks.
  • The Swallows’ pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.
  • The Swallows are now tied for second in the CL with the Dragons with a 7-5 record.
  • The game was played at a economical pace (3 hours and 2 minutes), and a series high 13,575 people allegedly braved the cold to witness the win.
  • The Swallows now head down the Sobu line to face the Giants at the Tokyo Dome. The Swallows rotation will restart with Yasuhiro Ogawa slated to face new import Aaron Poreda.
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.