Jun 11th 2016, @ Chiba

June 11th, 2016

Chiba lotteTokyo Swallows 2TS Logo 150x transparent

Chiba Lotte Marines 4

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWLWL

(QVC Marine Stadium)

The Swallows were attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time in this interleague period. For the first time in at least three seasons Tsubamegun had representatives, in the form of Dan and myself, in the stands at Chiba. What Dan and I saw was not particularly pretty.

W: Standridge (3-5)
L: Yamanaka (2-5)
S: Nishino (14)
 Swallows Marines
1Keiji Ohbiki (SS)1Shohei Kato (CF)
2Tomotaka Sakaguchi (LF)2Takuya Takahama (3B)
3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)3Kasuya Kakunaka (LF)
4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)4Alfredo Despaigne (DH)
5Shingo Kawabata (3B)5Yamaico Navarro (2B)
6Wladimir Balentien (DH)6Daichi Suzuki (SS)
7Yuhei (Takai) (RF)7Kei Hosoya (1B)
8Yuhei Nakamura (C)8Ikuhiro Kiyota (RF)
9Jae-Hoon (Ha) (CF)9Tatsuhiro Tamura (C)
SPHirofumi Yamanaka (P)SPJason Standridge (P)

In theory, QVC Field in Chiba is easily accessible from Tokyo. But for some reason, a flight to Fukuoka and a subway ride to Yafuoku Dome somehow felt easier than the trip to the stadium by the bay.

The stadium in the middle of nowhere.

The stadium in the middle of nowhere.

The stadium was sold out in part due to the distribution of Chiba uniforms that turned the black Marines into the Hiroshima Carp.

Not Hiroshima...

Not Hiroshima…

Both Standridge and Yamanaka came into the game looking for their first W in over a month. Standridge held the Swallows hitless the first time around the order but gave up a solo shot to Yamada with one out in the fourth as his first hit. 1-0 Swallows Standridge subsequently gave up back-to-back singles to Hatake and Kawabata but the chance ended on a bizarre strikeout and botched double steal (!?) attempt.

Yamanaka wasn’t quite as lights out as he scattered hits through his first four innings, but he kept the Marines off the board. Things went south in the fifth. Yamanaka gave up a weak single to Hosoya to start the inning and the Marines advanced him to second on a bunt. Yamanaka walked Tamura and hit Kato to load the bases. Takahama wasted no time by smacking the first pitch he saw off the wall for a bases clearing double. 3-1 Marines

The Swallows got to Standridge again in the seventh. After Kawabata got a one out double and advanced to third on a Balentien grounder the Marines yanked Standridge and brought in Matsunaga to face Yuhei. Yuhei cashed in Kawabata with a single but the Swallows couldn’t tie the game. 3-2 Marines

Yamanaka was brought out to pitch the seventh but was quickly pulled as he gave up a lead off double to Tamura. The crowd popped hard as Naruse was brought in to face Kato. Naruse threw one pitch that turned into a sac bunt to advance Tamura to third. To the dismay of the Chiba faithful Naruse was replaced by Lueke after that pitch. The Marines brought in Iguchi and Lueke walked him on four pitches to get the potential DP in order. Kakunaka drove in a run with a first pitch double to ruin any semblance of a plan by the Swallows battery. 4-2 Marines Lueke then intentionally walked Despaigne to load the bases before ending the inning (nightmare?) with back-to-back strikeouts.

The Swallows threatened by getting men on in scoring position with one out in the eighth but nothing came of it and the Swallows failed to win back-to-back games. 4-2 Marines FINAL


  • The Marines’ Uchi who pitched the eighth inning came out to Europe’s Final Countdown. That’s just wrong.
  • Lueke’s call up to the mound came so quickly after Naruse’s appearance that the bullpen car was not ready for Lueke, forcing Lueke to run to the mound himself.
  • Tsubakuro made the trip to Chiba and was messing with the ground crew and cheerleaders throughout the game.
  • Tomorrow’s decider will feature Hara for the Swallows and Karakawa for the Marines.
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.

  • Andy G

    Nice report. I was there too. I thought Yamanaka was decent today. Little bit unlucky. That was pretty funny when the Marines fans got all excited about Naruse v Iguchi and then Naruse got pulled before it could happen. I’m surprised you didn’t have some fun with Lueke burrowing into the mound like an angry badger in the 7th though!

    • Kozo

      I knew I forgot something! That was a weird sequence with the mound kicking.