Mar 25th 2016, @ Yomiuri – REGULAR SEASON OPENER

March 25th, 2016

Tokyo Swallows 1FYG

Yomiuri Giants 3

Streak: Lost 1

(Tokyo Stain Dome)

W: Sugano
L: Ogawa
S: Sawamura

The defending CL champion Swallows got off to a spluttering start, as they fell to new manager Takahashi Yoshinobjob and his band of orange goons in the season opener across town.

 Tokyo Yomiuri
1Ueda (CF)1 Ch*no (RF)
2Kawabata (3B)2Tateoka (CF)
3Yamada (2B)3Sakamoto (SS)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Garrett (1B)
5Yuhei (RF)5Cruz (2B)
6Sakaguchi (LF)6Kamei (LF)
7Nakamura (C)7Murata (3B)
8Ohbiki (SS)8Kobayashi (C)
9Ogawa (P)9Sugano (P)

Ogawa got the opening day start for the birds and was perfect for five of his six innings of work. Alas the first hit he gave up of the evening was a solo homer to left from Ch*no to lead off the 4th, 1-0 Yomiuri. He then struggled through the rest of the 32 pitch inning (as many as he’d thrown in the first three combined), allowing another single, walk, and dead ball to juice the bases with one out. But he did well to escape the inning with the deficit at just the one run as he got Kamei and Murata to harmlessly fly out to strand the runners in place.

Arch-tool Sugano meanwhile laboured his way through his seven innings on 119 pitches, allowing five hits and a steady trickle of Tokyo runners on base. Unfortunately the bats couldn’t quite get to him. In the 3rd Hatake was plunked on the inside of his right arm, and Yuhei doubled off the wall in right centre to put men in scoring positions with no outs. New boy Sakaguchi, Nakamura, and Ohbiki were then the guilty parties as they failed to bring the go-ahead run home. Then in the 5th, singles from Ohbiki and Ueda put two more men on with one out, but this time it was Kawabata and Yamada’s turn to be wasteful as another chance went begging.

Ogawa’s night was done in the top of the 7th as with no men on and two outs on the board, Manaka opted to bring in Imanami as a pinch-hitter to ground out to second and end the inning. In came Akiyoshi in the bottom of the inning, and he was wild. Akiyoshi allowed a double from Cruz (off the top of the outfield wall, and although the weasel tried to claim it was a HR, the umpire TV review proved otherwise), struck out Kamei, and then hit Murata before allowing Kobayashi to chip one to the wall in right to bring home two for 3-0 Yomiuri.

Akiyoshi then got the hook which brought in Luis Perez for his Tokyo debut. And the Dominican did well, with just four pitches enough for the outs of Donoue and Ch*no to end the inning. Perez would later work the bottom of the 8th, struggling a bit more as he allowed two men on via a dead ball and walk, but he defiantly looked promising at first glance.

The Swallows only run came in the top of the 8th off meat-head Canadian reliever Scott Mathieson. A one-out double from Kawabata set the table for Yamada, and he hit a double off the top of the wall in centre (another umpire TV replay, another non HR) for 3-1. Unfortunately neither Hatake or Yuhei could continue the momentum as they both struck out to end what would be Tokyo’s last chance of the evening, 3-1 Yomiuri Final.

Game Notage

  • Ogawa’s line: 7 IP / 85 NP / 2 H / 2 K / 1 BB / 1 HBP / 1 ER. He was good, very good even. If only he had pitched a wee bit longer…
  • Tokyo outhit their opposition 7-4. Hatake and Nakamura were the only hit-less non-pitching Swallows.
  • The two teams will be back at it again tomorrow at 2pm. Masanori Ishikawa will get the start for the birds, facing off against Yomiuri’s Takagi.

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