Aug 11th 2015, @ Hiroshima

August 11th, 2015

Tokyo Swallows 5Hiroshima Carp logo clean

Hiroshima Carp 0

Streak: Won 2    Last 5: WLLWW

(Mazda Zooooooom Zooooooom Stadium Hiroshima)

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W: Yamanaka (6-0 / 2.31 ERA); L: Kuroda (7-5 / 2.89)

June 12th 2015: Hirofumi Yamanaka makes his first start for the Swallows on the road against Seibu, picks up his first career win.

August 11th 2015: In his sixth start of the year, he wins not only his sixth straight start, but also throws his first career complete game, a shutout no less.

This is truly Yamanaka’s fairy-tale world and we’re all living in it.

150811 Yamanaka

 Tokyo Hiroshima
1Hiyane (CF)1Kikuchi (2B)
2Kawabata (3B)2Maru (CF)
3Yamada (2B)3Matsuyama (LF)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Schierholtz (RF)
5Yuhei (RF)5Arai (1B)
6Ohbiki (SS)6Tanaka (SS)
7Dening (LF)7Soyogi (3B)
8Nakamura (C)8Ishihara (C)
9Yamanaka (P)9Kuroda (P)

And he had his work cut out too, what with him facing veteran Hiroshima ace Hiroki Kuroda, a guy who has mostly had his way against the Swallows this year. But not today.

Yamada was the main architect in Kuroda’s downfall, getting things underway with a two-out infield single in the 1st. He then proceed to steal second, advancing to third on the wayward throw from Carp catcher Ishihara. Hatake then cashed in Tetsuto’s exploits, hitting a high chopper to short, which allowed him enough waddle time to reach first before the ball, putting the Swallows ahead early. 1-0 Tokyo.

Then in the second the lead was doubled by an Ohbiki solo shot to right, no.3 of an ever improving debut season. 2-0 Tokyo.

The K.O. blow then came in the top of the 5th. Hiyane dropped down a bunt attempt, catching the Hiroshima infield by surprise to put one on with two outs on the board. Kawabata then worked Kuroda hard, working a ten pitch walk to put two on. Up stepped Yamada, who worked the count full, then fouled off two pitches to right as he began to hone in on Hiroki’s weapons, before crushing an inside shuuto into the upper left field deck to make it 5-0 Tokyo. It was Yamada’s 25th long ball of 2015.

Yamanaka meanwhile, took just 51 pitches to get through the first 6 innings, allowing just two hits in the process. He was worked a touch harder through the last three frames, allowing a hit in each, but was never really threatened by the Hiroshima bats, posting a stellar final line of 9 IP / 96 NP / 5 H / 2 K / 0 BB / 1 HBP / 0 ER. 5-0 Tokyo Final.

Game Notage

  • Yamanaka is the first Swallows pitcher in franchise history to start a season with 6 straight wins in 6 starts. He has been a revelation, and one of the biggest out of nowhere stories of the season. And guess what? He only seems to be getting better.
  • Along with his CL leading 25th homer of the year, Yamada also stole another couple of bags this evening, a catagory in which he also leads the league with 24. Tetsuto also leads the CL in: runs scored (85),  total bases (237), and slugging (.582). He was 4 for 4 this evening.
  • Aside from Yamada’s heroics, Dening and Ohbiki both had multi-hit games with two apiece. Yamanaka also pitched in with a single of his own in the 6th.
  • A bumper summer holiday crowd of 31,222 turned out only to go home disappointed.
  • Tomorrow will see Tokyo send Ogawa to the mound, taking on Kuri. After the Swallows wrap up the series in Hiroshima on Thursday, they’ll head back to Jingu for a big three game series with the current first placed Tigers from Friday. The Swallows currently sit 1.5 games back of Hanshin.

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