Jun 23rd 2015, @ Chunichi

June 23rd, 2015

Tokyo Swallows 5Chunichi Logo

Chunichi Dragons 3

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LLLLW

(Gifu Stadium)

W: Ogawa (4-4 / 2.99 ERA)
L: Tajima (3-4 / 2.21 ERA)
S: Barnette (16 S / 0.30 ERA)

Ogawa registered his first win since waaaay back on May 1st, while a 7th inning surge was enough to push the Swallows past the Dragons in a rainy Gifu, snapping their losing streak at five in the process.

150623 Ogawa

 Swallows Dragons
1Yamada (2B)1Araki (2B)
2Miwa (CF)2Oshima (CF)
3Kawabata (3B)3Hirata (RF)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Luna (3B)
5Dening (LF)5Morino (1B)
6Morioka (SS)6Wada (LF)
7Yuhei (RF)7Hernandez (SS)
8Nakamura (C)8Matsui (C)
9Ogawa (P)9Iwata (P)

After enduring a four game losing streak during his last six starts, things didn’t look great for Tokyo’s ace in the bottom of the 1st, as uber-irritant Oshima got on via an infield single, before being later brought home from second by a Luna hit up the middle. 1-0 Chunichi.

Tokyo hit back in the 2nd. After a Hatake single and Dening walk, the “former clean-up now batting no.7 due to seemingly forgetting how to bat” Yuhei came to bat with one out on the board. And the no.7 slot was obviously the missing link as he hit the first pitch he saw from Iwata into right to bring home the tying run, 1-1.

And they took a slender lead in the 3rd, with Miwa getting on base with a liner up the middle (and was replaced at first by Kawabata who hit a ground out to short), before Hatake hit one off the wall in left of centre (which Oshima didn’t deal well with at all) and Kawabata made it home from first with Hatake coming to rest at second, 2-1 Tokyo.

150623 Hatake

Ogawa shot himself in the foot in the bottom of the 3rd, giving up the lead off a single, two straight walks, and a Luna sac fly, 2-2.

All was then quiet until the rain intensified, leading to a 15 minute or so rain stoppage after the 5th. When the teams returned, a pretty shoddy error in the field gave the lead back to the Dragons in the bottom of the 6th. Seemingly affected somewhat by the delay in proceedings, Ogawa got off to a bad start by allowing a Luna single and a walk for Morino with no outs. Wada then helped out a bunch by hitting one back to the pitcher, leading to a double play with Luna now at third with two red lights now on the board. Hernandez then tried to help Ogawa further by hitting what should have been an inning-ending grounder to first, which was fielded by Hatake, who instead of throwing the ball to the bag, which would have been caught by the base covering (unlike the other weekend at Seibu) Ogawa, threw the ball to the pitcher before he had reached said bag, resulting in the ball ending up behind the running Ogawa, and the go-ahead run scoring on the error. 3-2 Chunichi.

But the Tokyo bats were not done yet, getting to Dragons’ reliever Tajima in the decisive 7th frame, with a little help from some more shoddy fielding. Yuhei got on board thanks to an error by Araki, and then Nakamura struck out for out number one. In came a pinch hitting Yuichi, who hit a double to the wall left centre (not dealt with particularly well by Fujii in left) allowing Yuhei to power home from first to tie the game at 3-3. Hiyane replaced Yuchi on second, before Yamada hit a pop fly to shallow centre, with Hernandez, Oshima, and Araki all thinking one of the others was going to get it, allowing the ball to drop fair with men now at the corners with one out. Up stepped Miwa, and he hit the first pitch to centre, just deep enough to score Hiyane from second on the sacrifice for 4-3 Tokyo. All that was left was for Kawabata to hit a double off the wall in right to bring home yet another runner from first and it was a more comfortable 5-3.

After Ogawa had worked his six innings, the big dirty foreigner relay of Roman, Ondrusek, and Barnette did the rest, bringing home the win for a sweet sweet 5-3 Tokyo Final.

Game Notage

  • Ogawa’s final line: 6 IP / 110 P / 6 H / 3 K / 4 BB / 3 R / 2 ER. The long overdue win evens his record at 4-4, and is hopefully the first en-route to a 10 plus win season. Please.
  • Hatake was the only Swallow with two hits, while Mitch Dening continued to struggle going 0 for 3 with a walk and two Ks with his average now at .212.
  • 17,426 Gifuians (!?) braved the damp conditions to take this one in.
  • The J-Sports, and I use this word in the loosest sense, “colour”, commentator (more like sepia) apparently has trouble telling our Logan and Tony apart, needing to check the uniform number to distinguish the two tall American beardies. His co-commentator then pointed out that the former was quite a bit taller than the latter, before remarking that Tony’s beard was far more rugged looking and dashing, after which he could be heard groaning to himself while muttering “おぉぉぉ…トニィィィィィィィィィィ…..” under his breath. Okay, maybe not that part about the beard.
  • So then, just to help him, and you all out, here is a handy Swallows beardy reliever guide for you:
Logan Ondrusek

Logan Ondrusek

Tony Barnette

Tony Barnette

  • You’re welcome.
  • Tomorrow will see the teams head to more familiar territory, as the series moves to the Nagoya Dome for games two and three. Naruse will get the start for your birds.
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