Jul 25th 2015, vs Chunichi

July 25th, 2015

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 5

Tokyo Swallows 6

Streak: Won 6 Last 5: WWWWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Despite lasting more than three and a half hours in some pretty thick Tokyo summer humidity, fans were treated to an excited back and forth affair between the Central League’s recent past and its future.

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W: Matsuoka (2-0; 2.76 ERA)
L: Sobue (0-2; 3.94 ERA)
S: Barnette (25; 0.45 ERA)

Matsuoka got some offensive help and snagged the win in relief.

 Dragons Swallows
1 Issei Endoh (SS)1Wataru Hiyane (CF)
2Masahiro Araki (2B)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Atsushi Fujii (CF)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Hector Luna (1B)4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
5Kazuhiro Wada (LF)5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
6Ryosuke Hirata (RF)6Keiji Ohbiki (SS)
7Anderson Hernandez (3B)7Mitch Dening (LF)
8Iori Katsura (C)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Tomoya Yagi (P)9Masato Furuno (P)

Your birds are now two games above .500 AND in first place! Don’t get too excited though. There’s still a long way to go, and the Swallows are streaky at the best of times, but it’s highly enjoyable to see the offense getting contributions from a wider swath of the lineup.

Chunichi actually scored first this evening. A Fujii sac fly with two on in the top of the first brought Endoh home from third.

0-1 Chunichi

But Yamada leveled in the bottom of the inning with a solo shot to left. It was his Central League-leading 22nd round-tripper of the 2015 campaign.

1-1

Endoh was again in the mix in the top of the third when he hit his first homer of the season to right.

1-2 Chunichi

But Tokyo starter, Furuno, helped his own cause by drawing a walk with the bases loaded.

2-2

Chunichi then took the lead one final time when Hernandez was able to tag up on Endoh’s sac fly to left. Furuno left the game after walking the next batter, and Yamamoto secured the final out.

2-3 Chunichi

Kawabata started the bottom of the fifth with a solo home run to right. It was his fourth of the season.

Yamada kept things going with a 1-1 single to left, and then he stole second on the 1-0 pitch to Hatake. Katsura’s throw was wonky, so Yamada ended the play standing on third. Fludge then popped the next pitch out to the warning track which allowed Yamada to trot home.

4-3 Tokyo

With Matsuoka on the mound, Chunichi caught back up with a two out solo homer from Hirata.

Yamada (l) and Kawabata (r) are turning into a mean combo at the top of the order.

Yamada (l) and Kawabata (r) are turning into a mean combo at the top of the order.

4-4

Hiyane got things started in the bottom of the sixth with a full count single to center. Kawabata followed with a single of his own (see, isn’t it nice when the number two batter isn’t asked to bunt all the time?), and Yamada brought Hiyane home from second with a double to left on a 0-1 slider from reliever, Sobue.

Kawabata soon found his way home as well thanks to a Sobue wild pitch.

6-4 Tokyo

Endoh made one final mark on the evening with a RBI gound out in the top of the seventh, but that was it for the scoring.

6-5 FINAL

Ondrusek (46 appearances; 4-1; 2.35 ERA) pitched a perfect eighth, and Barnette (37; 1-0; 0.45) did the same in the ninth. Barnette’s 25th save of the season puts him in second place in the Central League behind Hanshin’s Oh.

Tokyo will attempt to make it a second straight sweep tomorrow night when Yamanaka (3-0; 2.00) will square off against Chunichi’s Wakamatsu (3-1; 2.05).

**GAME NOTES

  • Yamada was 4-5 with two RBI.
  • Fludge was 1-4 with four pop flies. Luckily one of them was deep enough to bring home a run.
  • Dening had a very productive 3-3 day at the plate with two doubles and a HBP.
  • Kawabata and Yuhei both chipped in with two-hit performances.
  • Nakamura drew a pair of walks.
  • 26,635 folks sweated this one out.
  • Tokyo leads the season series versus Chunichi 9-6.

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