July 30th, 2015 vs Hiroshima

July 30th, 2015

Hiroshima Carp logo cleanHiroshima Carp  5  Tokyo Swallows Logo

Tokyo Swallows 4

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WWLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tonight’s game was a reminder that the Swallows can’t take their position and past accomplishments for granted. All of the Swallows’ strengths were on display until the failure of a major strength lead to the loss.

W: Heath (1-4)
L: Ondrusek (4-2)
S: Nakazaki (14)

 Carp Swallows
1Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)1Wataru Hiyane (CF)
2Yoshihiro Maru (CF)2Shingo Kawabata (3B)
3Jesús Guzmán (LF)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Takahiro Arai (1B)4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)
5Nate Schierholtz (RF)5Yuhei (Takai) (CF)
6Eishin Soyogi (3B)6Keiji Obiki (SS)
7Kosuke Tanaka (SS)7Mitch Dening (LF)
8Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)8Yuhei Nakamura (C)
9Kazuki Yabuta (P)9Masahiro Ishikawa (P)

The Swallows got to the rookie Yabuta early. Hiyane and Kawabata opened the game with a single and double, respectively. Yamada grounded out to third giving Hiyane enough time to score from third. 1-0 Swallows Mr. RBI Hatakeyama followed with his first July homerun to push the lead further. 3-0 Swallows

An insurance run came in the third. Yamada opened the inning with a single, and extended his CL base-stealing lead with his 20th steal of the season. Yamada came home on a Yuhei single. 4-0 Swallows

Meanwhile Ishikawa got through the Carp lineup perfectly the first time around with four strikeouts. Unfortunately the second time around was not quite as smooth. The Carp got their first hit for the game when Kikuchi lead off the fourth with a solo shot to left. 4-1 Swallows One out later Guzman hit a homer to right for yet another run. 4-2 Swallows

Things settled down after that point and Ishikawa left the game for a pinch hitter after the sixth inning. Roman came in to pitch the seventh, and the Swallows handed the ball to Ondrusek for the eighth. Ondrusek was making his NPB leading 48th appearance albeit on three days rest. Things immediately got hairy as Ondrusek gave up a single to Noma and a double to Matsuyama without getting an out. Kikuchi flied out to right but got the ball deep enough for a sac fly. 4-3 Swallows Maru followed by drawing a six pitch walk after falling behind 0-2. The Swallows were looking to get a double play off of Guzman but the Venezuelan did not oblige and sent a shot to center that barely stayed in the park for a two run double. 5-4 Carp Things didn’t quite settle down after that point as the Carp got more base runners but Akiyoshi managed to finish the inning without allowing another run.

The Swallows got a two out Yuhei double in the eighth but nothing else. In the ninth Miwa came up to bat with two out and grounded to All-World second baseman Kikuchi. Kikuchi fluffed the throw to first and Miwa tried to take second on the error but was gunned down to end the game in a somewhat fitting metaphor for the game. 5-4 Carp FINAL

The loss put the Swallows in second place in the CL as the Tigers had the night off. The Swallows will travel to Koshien for a three game weekend spot against the Tigers. Tomorrow’s announced starters are Naruse for the Swallows and Fujinami for the Tigers.

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.