Apr 5th 2017, @ Hanshin

April 5th, 2017

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 1 Clean Hanshin Tigers Logo

Hanshin Tigers 4

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WLWWL

(Kyocera Dome)

W: Kuwahara
L: Lueke
S: Dolis

A monster Yoshio Itoi three-run home run off Josh Lueke in the 7th was the difference between the teams, as the Swallows fell to 3-2 for the nascent season.

 Tokyo Hanshin
1Ohbiki (SS)1Takayama (LF)
2Sakaguchi (LF)2Uemoto (2B)
3Yamada (2B)3Itoi (CF)
4Balentien (CF)4Fukudome (RF)
5Yuhei (RF)5Haraguchi (1B)
6Hatakeyama (1B)6Toritani (3B)
7Nakamura (C)7Hojoh (SS)
8Yachi (3B)8Umeno (C)
9Yamanaka (P)
6 IP | 92 NP | 5 H | 3 BB | 1 HBP | 1 ER
9Akiyama (P)
0.2 IP | 40 NP | 3 H | 2 K | 2 BB | 3 ER
0.0 IP | 1 H | 0 ER
1.1 IP | 0 H | 3 K |0 ER

Yamanaka made his first start of the season and mostly huffed and puffed his way through six innings of decent enough pitching. His only run allowed came in the bottom of the 1st, when things could have got ugly fast after back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs on the board. Yamanaka did well to escape the inning, the solitary run coming on a grounder to short which was converted into a double play, 1-0 Hanshin.

The Swallows’ bats struggled early against Tigers’ starter Akiyama, but after putting two men on in the 3rd (which was scuppered by Ohbiki hitting into an inning-ending double play), they tied things up in the 4th.

Yamada got things started with a one-out double, before Balentien, clearly still quite pumped following last night’s shenanigans, chipped a single into centre to make it 1-1.

The 7th inning would prove pivotal for both teams. In the top of inning, Akiyama was switched after a Yuhei single and Hatake walk put two on with no outs. Kuwahara took his place on the mound, and Nakamura promptly bunted the runners into scoring positions. Unfortunately, a one-two pinch hitting punch of (ex-Chiba) new boy Ohmatsu and Ugumori stranded the runners with the scores still tied.

In the bottom of the inning it was Lueke who, clearly out of sorts, almost escaped the inning, but with two outs and two men on, Itoi hit the aforementioned monster shot into the top deck in right, and just like that it was 4-1 Hanshin.

With the Hanshin duo of Mateo and Dolis restricting Tokyo to just one more hit the rest of the day, we had ourselves a “what no brawls tonight then?” 4-1 Hanshin Final.

Tomorrow’s rubber game will see the Swallows sending the good lord himself Shohei Tateyama to the mound to face Randy “the chunk” Messenger, as they look to make it two series wins out of two to start 2017.

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

  • “the chunk” has slimmed down a lot… not sure he’s even portly anymore.