Apr 6th 2016, @ Hiroshima

April 6th, 2016

Tokyo Swallows 3Hiroshima Carp logo clean

Hiroshima Carp 6

Streak: Lost 3  Last 5: WWLLL

(Mazda Zooooom Zoooooom Stadium)

W: Johnson (1-1); L: Terada (0-1);
S: Nakazaki (3S)

The Swallows pitching woes continued in Hiroshima as they fell behind big early, but the bullpen dug in over the rest of the game, and while the bats would eventually get to Kris Johnson, it would ultimately be a case of too little too late.

 Tokyo Hiroshima
1Sakaguchi (CF)1Tanaka (SS)
2Kawabata (3B)2Kikuchi (2B)
3Yamada (2B)3Maru (CF)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Luna (3B)
5Balentien (LF)5Eldred (LF)
6Yuhei (RF)6Arai (1B)
7Yachi (SS)7Amaya (RF)
8Nakamura (C)8Ishihara (C)
9Terada (P)9Johnson (P)

The second-year twenty nine year old Tetsuya Terada got the start for Tokyo (his second career start, the first, three fairly hairy scoreless innings, coming last year) and was frankly not up to the task. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out in the 1st, with Eldred working the inning’s third walk to bring home the opening run, 1-0 Hiroshima. A two-run single from Arai followed (3-0) before the fourth free pass to first loaded the bases once more. Luckily for Terada, Ishihara helped him out by hitting into an inning ending double play to stem the bleeding, albeit temporarily.

Two more walks, a run scoring wild pitch, and a timely Luna single extended the Carp lead to 5-0 in the 2nd, before Terada got the hook with Matuoka appearing in his place. This made little difference to Eldred however, as he hit a double to bring home Luna from first and the Swallows were in a 6-0 hole after two.

And thus with Johnson on the mound for the Carp, a man who tends to do very well against our fair birds, the game seemed pretty much over at that point, but the Swallows stuck around as best they could over the remainder, ultimately making it somewhat interesting.

Firstly the beleaguered bullpen did their bit, with Matsuoka (3.1 IP), Muranaka, Akiyoshi, and Lueke (1 inning apiece) all putting up zeroes from 3rd to the 8th frames.

Offence-wise, a solo homer from Yamada in the 4th (no.4 for the season) was all the bats could muster until the 9th, whereupon a tiring Johnson allowed a run via a Hatake walk, Balentien double, and Yuhei infield single which made it 6-2. A Yachi single through the infield to right then added a third run (6-3), which was enough to end Johnson’s outing at 128 pitches, with two outs remaining and men on first and second.

In came closer Nakazaki to face Nakamura as the Carp finally found themselves in a game. Nakamura went down looking for out number two, but Tokyo weren’t done quite yet as Araki singled to left to load the bases. Next up was Morioka and he almost made things very interesting indeed with a fierce liner along the first base line, but a excellent reflex dive and catch from Arai ended it with a 6-3 Hiroshima Final.

The Swallows now get a day off before heading to Yokohama to meet the BayStars for the first time this season on Friday. Tokyo’s team ERA is the CL’s worst at 5.01, with the fact that Chunichi’s 3.98 is the next-worst showing you just how dire things have been thus far. Things can only improve from here right, right?!!?

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