May 19th 2016, @ Hiroshima

May 19th, 2016

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 6Hiroshima Carp logo clean

Hiroshima Carp 7

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL

(Mazda Zoooooom Zooooooom Stadium)

The Swallows lost a very winnable game despite some mistakes. Ultimately the Birds were let down by inconsistent pitching and hitting that cooled down as the game progressed.

W: Imamura (1-3)
L: Muranaka (0-1)

Kawabata was out of the lineup and the bench for a second consecutive game with an undisclosed/unspecified illness. He went tot the hospital prior to yesterday’s game, and no new information has come out since.

 Swallows Carp
1Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)1Kosuke Tanaka (SS)
2Takahiro Imanami (3B)2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)
3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)3Yoshihiro Maru (CF)
4Wladimir Balentien (LF)4Takahiro Arai (1B)
5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)5Brad Eldred (LF)
6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)6Seiya Suzuki (RF)
7Keiji Ohbiki (SS)7Tomohiro Abe (3B)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Tsubasa Aizawa (C)
9Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)9Aren Kuri (P)

The Swallows opened the game with a Sakaguchi double, that eventually became a Yamada sac fly to draw first blood. 1-0 Swallows

The lead widened in the second after Hatakeyama drew a walk and Ohbiki hit his first homer of the season into the left field stands. 3-0 Swallows

Unfortunately, Ogawa wobbled hard in the bottom of the inning. After back-to-back singles to Eldred and Singles, Abe smacked the first pitch he saw into the right field seats. 3-3 All

 The Carp took the lead in the third. Tanaka lead off the inning with a single and stole second. A fly out advanced Tanaka another base and a hard hit grounder to third by Arai was good enough for an infield single for a run. 4-3 Carp

The pendulum swung back in the Swallows’ favor in the fourth. Hatakeyama drew another walk and Ohbiki launched a double to left that was deep enough to score Hatakeyama from FIRST BASE. 4-4 All Nakamura singled to put men on the corners and Ogawa bunted the runner to second and end Kuri’s night. Toda came in for Kuri and promptly plunked Sakaguchi to load the bases. Imanami managed to fly out deep enough to center to score the go-ahead run, but the Swallows couldn’t manage any more runs in the inning. 5-4 Swallows

The lead stretched further in the sixth. Nakamura lead off the inning with a walk and Ogawa bunted him to second. Sakaguchi singled to put men on the corners with one out for Imanami. Again Imanami got the sac fly, but the Swallows weren’t able to capitalize any further. 6-4 Swallows

Despite some wobbles the Swallows sent out Ogawa to pitch the seventh and he gave up back-to-back singles to Aizawa and Matsuyama to put men on the corners and end his night. Kyuko came out to face Tanaka and Akamatsu, who came in to run for Matsuyama, promptly stole second. Kyuko ended up loading the bases with a walk and Akiyoshi was called into the unenviable no-out bases-loaded situation versus the heart of the Carp order. Akiyoshi got Kikuchi to hit a grounder to third, but with the infield playing in, Imanami was forced to dive to get the ball and his hesitation towards home before throwing to first was enough to score a run and keep the bases loaded. 6-5 Swallows Akiyoshi then got Maru to ground out to second in what looked to be a potential 4-6-3 DP, but a good hard slide by Kikuchi lead to only one out and the runner on third scored in the meantime. 6-6 All Akiyoshi then got Arai and Eldred out easily, but the damage had been done.

The Swallows offense was held hitless the rest of the way. Lueke pitched a scoreless eighth and Muranaka pitched a scoreless ninth despite allowing two walks. The game went to extra innings and after the Swallows went down 1-2-3 in the top of the tenth the Swallows elected to stay with Muranaka.

Muranaka walked Suzuki to lead off the inning. Abe bunted the runner to second and Muranaka walked Ishihara to put two men on for Amaya. Muranaka was clearly struggling with his control and his face and body language was projecting uncertainty. Amaya took a 3-2 pitch and launched it into the left field corner for the sayonara. 7-6 Carp FINAL


  • Despite some promising moments the Swallows ended their 6 game road trip with a 1-5 record.
  • The game lasted 4 hours and 4 minutes.
  • Ogawa’s final line read 6 and 0/3 innings, 8 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 6 runs (all earned).
  • The Swallows head back to Jingu, where they play much better baseball, to open a 6 game homestand against the BayStars and the Tigers.
  • The BayStars had the night off and are now 0.5 games behind the Swallows for fifth in the CL. Tomorrow’s announced starters are Naruse for the Swallows and Ino for the BayStars.
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.