Jun 4th 2015, vs Tohoku

June 4th, 2015

Tohoku Golden Eagles 7

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: WLWLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tohoku won the game and the series as Tokyo’s offense failed to capitalize on a number of opportunities.

W: Kikuchi (2-0; 2.22 ERA)
L: Naruse (2-6; 4.17 ERA)

And Naruse picked up his sixth loss of the season which leads the Central League. Not entirely deserved this time, however.

Matsui (RF)1Yamada (2B)
Makida (CF)2Ueda (CF)
Fujita (2B)3Kawabata (3B)
Nakagawa (LF)4Yuhei (RF)
Gotoh (SS)5Hatakeyama (1B)
Shima (C)6Dening (LF)
Nishida (3B)7Imanami (SS)
Ishimine (1B)8Nakamura (C)
Kikuchi (P)9Naruse (P)

Nakagawa started the scoring for the visitors with a homer in the top of the second on a 1-0 Naruse slider. He went opposite field on the pitch, and the ball just barely scraped over the fence in right, but that’s just part of the package when you hire Naruse. He routinely led the Pacific League in home runs allowed before coming to Tokyo, and he now leads the Central (10).

0-1 Tohoku

Fludge to the rescue! Hatakeyama hit his league-leading 15th home run of 2015 with a solo shot in the bottom of the second to even the score. It was a full count Kikuchi slider that Hatake parked in the left field stands.


But that was the end of Tokyo’s collective threat of staying in this ballgame.

Nakagawa homered again during his next at bat. The second time around was in the fourth inning, and this time he pounced on the first pitch, a changeup.

1-2 Tohoku

The game got away from Tokyo on Matsuoka’s watch, something Swallows fans have gotten used to over the years.

Nishida singled with one out in the top of the seventh, and Ishimine doubled to put men on second and third. Wheeler drew a walk to juice the bases. Kaz Matsui then singled to right to bring two runs around to score. Wheeler then scored on Makida’s single to left.

1-5 Tohoku

Tokyo clawed one back, it’s last run of the contest, thanks to Kawabata and Yuhei’s back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the seventh. However, the Birds were unable to build on the momentum even after Hatakeyama got a free base thanks to an error at third.

2-5 Tohoku

Tokuyama walked Nakagawa on four pitches to start the eighth, and Gotoh followed with a single. Shima stiffed his sac bunt and the lead runner was gunned down at third, but Tokuyama loaded the bases anyway with a five-pitch walk to Nishida. Gotoh and Shima then scored on Peña’s two out, pinch hit, broken bat, 1-2 heater, single to right.


Naruse took the (undeserved) loss after six innings and 99 pitches of work. He allowed two runs (both earned) from five hits (two dingers), two Ks, and one walk. He also had a double in the third, but he never made it past second as the top of the Swallows order sat without much of a fight. Naruse’s opposite number, Kikuchi, missed a lot of bats tonight.

The Swallows will host the Chiba Marines for a three game set Friday through Sunday. Tokyo’s Ogawa will face Chiba’s Karakawa tomorrow evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM.

*Game Notes:

Kawabata was 2-5 with a single and double. He was the only Bird with a multi-hit game.

Nakamura was 1-2 at the plate with a single and two walks.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini