Aug 6th 2016, vs Hanshin

Aug 6th, 2016

Clean Hanshin Tigers LogoHanshin Tigers 1TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 6

Streak: Won 1         Last 5: LLWLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After losing seven in a row to their fellow cellar dwellers, your Birds finally figured out the winning combination.

W: Yamanaka (4-8; 3.67 ERA)
L: Messenger (9-7; 3.12 ERA)

And a big part of it was getting another high-quality start from Tokyo’s most reliable starter.

 Tigers Swallows
1Shun Takayama (LF)1Keiji Obiki (SS)
2Fumiya Araki (2B)2Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)
3Takashi Toritani (SS)3Takahiro Imanami (1B)
4Kosuke Fukudome (RF)4Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
5 Fumihito Haraguchi (C)5Wladimir Balentien (LF)
6Mauro Gomez (1B)6Akihisa Nishida (C)
7Hayata Ito (CF)7Naomichi Nishiura (3B)
8Fumiya Hojo (3B)8Kotaro Yamasaki (RF)
9Randy Messenger (SP)9Hirofumi Yamanaka (SP)

Tokyo loaded the bases in the first but stranded all three runners to let Messenger off the hook.

But they got to him in a big way in the third, an inning he wouldn’t survive.

Sakaguchi took the bait on the 1-2 pitch but ended up doubling some high heat to the wall in right. Imanami singled two pitches later, putting runners on the corners.

Yamada loaded the bases with a seven pitch walk, and then Balentien did the same on six. That pushed Sakaguchi home from third.

1-0 Tokyo

Still no outs.

On the very next pitch, Nishida lined one to left, and Takayama muffed the play which allowed an extra runner to score.

3-0 Tokyo

Messenger got out number one on Nishiura’s fly ball to right, but Yamasaki collected his second hit of the season, loading the bases once again.

Yamanaka helped his own cause with a bouncer into right which pushed Balentien home from third, and Ohbiki finished Messenger off with a sac fly to left.

Yamanaka5-0 Tokyo

Messenger left the game with runners on first and second, and Shimamoto took his place. Sagaguchi finished what he started by grounding out to second.

Fukudome put some serious dread in the hearts of the home fans two pitches later. He clubbed one to right for Hanshin’s first run.

5-1 Tokyo

But fortunately it would be their last.

Yamanaka recorded nine straight outs after that.

Tokyo created an ultimately unnecessary insurance run in the eighth. Yamasaki lined another one to left for his third hit of the season. Yamanaka sac bunted him over to second, and Ohbiki struck out looking. Imanami soon knocked him home from third with an infield single to short.


Yamanaka was huge today. Complete game on 104 pitches and just the one run from six hits (one homer). He struck out three and walked none. Absolutely phenomenal performance.

On offense we saw multi-hit performances from Ohbiki, Imanami, Nishiura, and Yamasaki. Ohbiki was arguably the best of the lot because he added a sac fly.

Yamada and Balentien were hitless but both drew walks in their first two at-bats.

Tomorrow’s game sees Tateyama take the mound for the Swallows. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini