Sept 7th 2016, @ Yokohama

September 7th, 2016

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 3

Yokohama Baystars 7

Streak: Lost 3     Last 5: LWLLL

(Yokohama Stadium)

W: Mishima ( 1-1 ; 3.27 ERA )
L: Ogawa ( 8-6 ; 4.19 )
5 IP | 110 NP | 10 H | 2 K | 2 BB | 1 HBP | 6 R | 4 ER

Yasuhiro Ogawa’s remarkable winning streak came to an end and with it in all likelihood went Tokyo’s post-season hopes, as they now sit 4 games behind the 3rd place BayStars with 14 games to play.

 Tokyo Yokohama
1Araki (1B)1Kuwahara (CF)
2Sakaguchi (CF)2Elian (2B)
3Yamada (2B)3Lopez (1B)
4Balentien (LF)4Tsutsugoh (LF)
5Kawabata (3B)5Miyazaki (3B)
6Nishiura (SS)6Kajitani (RF)
7Ugumori (RF)7Kuramoto (SS)
8Nishida (C)8Tobashira (C)
9Ogawa (P)9Mishima (P)
0.2 IP | 1 ER
1.1 IP | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 ER

Tokyo got off to a great start in the top of the 1st, with a lead-off walk for Araki being cashed-in by Tetsuto Yamada’s 35th homer of the season for 2-0 Tokyo.

Following his three consecutive complete game wins, Ogawa regressed to the mean as he laboured through his five innings of work. It took 61 pitches to get through the first two innings, giving up two runs off five hits in the process (one unearned due to a Yamada fielding error which led off the second frame). 2-2.

And Yokohama had themselves their first lead of the evening in the 3rd, a Kajitani solo shot making it 3-2 Yokohama.

The Swallows were not done quite yet though, as Balentien answered back with a solo home run of his own (no.26 for the year) in the top of the 4th to tie things up again at 3-3. That was Tokyo’s second hit of the night.

So we go to the game’s pivotal inning, the bottom of the 5th. Despite being far from his best, Ogawa still had still managed to keep his team in the game to this point, and would come so very close to doing so again. SO…VERY…CLOSE…

A Lopez single and walk for Tsutsugoh put two on before Miyazaki and Kajitani both flew out to right to put Ogawa an out away from escaping the inning with the scores tied. Next up was Kuramoto, and he hit a grounder between second and first that Yamada did excellently to chase down, but alas his off-balance throw to first was wide of the base, and the go-ahead run scored on that throwing error (Tetsuto’s second E of the night), 4-3 Yokohama.

160907 Yamada Error

Things then got a little messy, as a dead ball and pinch-hit two-run single from Gotoh/Gomez/Whateverthefuckhisnameis then blew the doors off and the birds were down by three. 6-3 Yokohama.

And it was four after the 6th, Tsutsugoh’s CL leading 39th homer of the year into the Swallows fans in left off Hirai putting the ‘Stars firmly in control. 7-3 Yokohama.

After not creating much aside from those two home runs early on, the Swallows bats then proceeded to put men on base with little trouble, only to strand them there. Following the 4th inning Coco homer the Swallows conspired to strand nine men on base, five of those men in scoring positions. The chances were there, just not taken, and so we had ourselves a “death by a thousand cuts” 7-3 Yokohama Final.

And there you have it. Four games behind Yokohama and that third playoff berth. Fourteen games to play, five of which are against the BayStars. So all is not lost but, as we discuss in the new Tokyo Swallows Podcast #36, whoever won this series would likely have all the momentum and end up in third come the end of September, and well, it wasn’t us.

Tomorrow will see Ishikawa take on Ishida as the Swallows attempt to salvage something from the series.

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