August 17th, 2016
Tokyo Swallows 9
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
Here’s a treat, sports fans. Ogawa went the distance tonight!
|W: Ogawa (6-5; 4.54 ERA)
L: Kubo (5-7; 3.30 ERA)
I know the lineup looks a bit feeble, but take heart. We haven’t lost a player to injury in about a week. Oh wait…
|1||Kuwahara (CF)||1||Sakaguchi (CF)|
|2||Elian (2B)||2||Hiyane (RF)|
|3||Kajitani (RF)||3||Nishiura (SS)|
|4||Tsutsugoh (LF)||4||Balentien (LF)|
|5||Lopez (1B)||5||Imanami (3B)|
|6||Miyazaki (3B)||6||Yachi (2B)|
|7||Kuramoto (SS)||7||Ugumori (1B)|
|8||Tobashira (C)||8||Nishida (C)|
|9||Kubo (RHP)||9||Ogawa (RHP)|
Ugumori’s second round-tripper, a solo shot nestled among strikeouts in the fourth, put your Birds ahead.
But Yokohama leveled immediately when Ogawa suffered his one and only bad inning of the night.
Tsutsugoh, who was held hitless tonight, recorded the first out, but then Ogawa allowed his first base runner when he walked Lopez. Miyazaki piled on with a double which put two runners in scoring position, and Lopez scored one out later when Tobashira singled to right.
But that was the end of Yokohama’s offense as Ogawa allowed only one more runner over the final four frames.
In fact, Ogawa helped break the game open with his bat in the bottom of the sixth when he came to the plate with a man on and two outs. The 2-2 pitch was a fastball, which Ogawa pulled and somehow got it to clear the wall in left. Please trust me that it was his first home run of the season. I’m not even going to bother to check.
Sakaguchi was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Kubo beaned him three pitches later. He had to be removed from the game, and Ueda came out to take his place at first. Karma kicked in, however, and Ueda scored from first on the next pitch when Hiyane singled to center and an error allowed Ueda to manufacture another run.
The seventh inning was a thing of beauty.
Balentien knocked the first pitch he saw from reliever, Broadway, over the wall in left.
Imanami then singled, and a bad throw on Yachi’s grounder to short meant that both runners were safe and in scoring position. Imanami scored one out later on Nishida’s fielder’s choice, and then Ogawa laid down a nice squeeze bunt, scoring pinch runner Miwa from third.
I wonder how many times a player has recorded RBI in consecutive at-bats on a homer and a bunt…can’t be too common.
And to top it all off, Ueda took a page out of Ogawa’s book and hit his first homer of the season.
Ogawa retired the final six batters that he faced and was a logical choice for game MVP. He was dominant. One run from three hits (119 pitches), eight strikeouts, and one walk.
Game three (two?) of this series is tomorrow at 6 PM. Tokyo’s Ishikawa will face Yokohama’s Yamaguchi.
- Nishiura was 3-5 with three singles this evening.
- Imanami was 2-5, the only other Swallow with a multi-hit game.
- Balentien’s homer was his 22nd of the season.
- Yachi was the only starter who didn’t get a hit.
- Thanks to tonight’s win, the Tokyo Swallows are in fourth place right now. They sit 3.5 games behind Yokohama and the final playoff spot.
- The team ERA is 4.96, so don’t get too excited.