Jun 1st 2016, @ Hokkaido

June 1st, 2016

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 2Nippon Ham

Hokkaido Fighters 5

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWLWL

(Sapporo Dome)

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Tokyo002000000280
Hokkaido31000010X5120
W: Bass ( 4-4 ; 4.40 ERA )
L: Ishikawa ( 4-5 ; 5.30 )
S: Masue ( 8S ; 5.51 )

Ishikawa lasted just three innings on his return to the rotation, and while the bullpen managed to eat up innings in relief of Masanori, the bats couldn’t cash in enough of a steady stream of Tokyo base runners as the Swallows dropped one in Hokkaido.

 Tokyo Hokkaido   
1Ohbiki (SS)1Yoh (CF)
2Sakaguchi (CF)2Tanaka (2B)
3Yamada (2B)3Ohtani (DH)
4Balentien (DH)4Nakata (1B)
5Kawabata (3B)5Laird (3B)
6Hatakeyama (1B)6Nishikawa (LF)
7Yuhei (RF)7Ohno (C)
8Hiyane (CF)8Asama (RF)
9Nakamura (C)9Nakashima (SS)
PIshikawa (P)Bass (P)

Ishikawa returned to the mound following a couple of weeks out with a left calf issue, and following his promising last outing in Hiroshima, he got back on the 2016 ISHIKAWA PATTERN train, taking a loss on the road. Masanori’s final line: 3 IP | 82 NP | 6 H | 1 HR | 2 K | 3 BB | 4 ER. The main damage was done by a 1st inning Sho Nakata three run home run, with the fourth run of Ishikawa’s short outing coming off back-to-back walks and a Yoh single in the 2nd.

The Swallows bats meanwhile managed to get men on base with relative ease against starter Bass, who was making his first start in Japan after beginning the year in the bullpen. Bass allowed seven hits and three walks as he tiptoed through the tulips for his six innings. Unfortunately Tokyo only managed to plate two of those men, a Sakaguchi walk, Yamada double, then back-to-back RBI singles for Balentien and Kawabata scoring what would be their only runs in the 4th.

Following Ishikawa, Matsuoka (2.1 bend but somehow not break innings), Muranaka (1.2), and Kyuko (1) managed to restrict the Fighters to only one more run, a Ohno solo homer in the 7th off Muranaka.

After Bass, the Hokkaido bullpen allowed just one more hit, though Masue did walk two on in the 9th, but they would be just two more stranded men to add to the heap, and we had ourselves an Interleague record levelling 5-2 Hokkaido Final.

In hindsight, the best thing about tonight’s game was the first pitch, a picture of which I’ll leave here with no further comment:

160601 First Pitch

Tomorrow’s rubber match will see Narsue get the start against the Fighters’ Katoh.

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