April 14th 2017, @ Yokohama

April 14th, 2017

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo SwallowsNew Baystars Logo 2012 3

Yokohama BayStars 4

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL

The Swallows once again failed to win on the road and dropped a close one in extra innings in Yokohama.

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W: Patton (2-0); L: Lueke (0-2)
 Swallows BayStars
1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)1Masayuki Kuwahara (CF)
2Yuhei (Takai) (CF)2Keita Sano (RF)
3Wladimir Balentien (LF)3José Lopez (1B)
4Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)4Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (LF)
5Atsushi Ugumori (RF)5Toshiro Miyazaki (3B)
6Yuhei Nakamura (C)6Hiroyasu Tanaka (2B)
7Naomichi Nishiura (SS)7Yasutaka Tobashira (C)
8Ryota Yachi (3B)8Joe Wieland (P)
9Masanori Ishikawa (P)9Toshihiko Kuramoto (SS)

Manaka put Yamada in the lead off spot for a second night in a row and maximized the offensive potential of the order by playing Yuhei in center and batting him second, putting in last night’s hero Ugumori in the five slot, and putting in Yachi in place of Obiki. Alex Ramirez also tinkered with his line up electing to bat the pitcher in the eight spot.

Things did not start well for Ishikawa as he gave up a leadoff solo shot to Kuwahara to start the Swallows off on the back foot. 1-0 BayStars Ishikawa gave up a double to Tsutsugo later in the inning but was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.

Ishikawa calmed down after that but the Swallows bats were held in check by the BayStars’ Wieland the first time around the order.

Wieland lost a bit of his touch in the fourth. He walked Yamada to lead off the inning. After getting Yuhei to fly out Wieland gave up a broken bat single to Balentien to put two men on. Hatake drew a walk to load the bases. Ugumori struck out unheroically but Nakamura was able to get a clean single to left to tie the score. 1-1 All Nishiura wasn’t able to break the game open and the inning ended tied.

In the bottom of the inning Ishikawa managed to sandwich a walk with two strikeouts. Tobashira hit a towering shot off the right field wall that was good for a double and run to retake the lead for the BayStars. 2-1 BayStars Ishikawa quickly ended the inning with yet another strikeout but his oonly walk of the night ended up costing him.

Things sputtered along and nothing of note happened. Ishikawa left the game for a pinch hitter after pitching 6 innings on 116 pitches. The Swallows had managed to get a man on third with two outs and chased Wieland off the mound when Ishikawa’s spot came up in the order. The Swallows sent out Omatsu and the BayStars countered with Sunada. Omatsu went down swinging in just four pitches. Sugiura pitched a perfect seventh inning.

Mikami came in to pitch the eighth against the top of the Swallows order. Yamada singled to lead off the inning. After Yuhei flied out for the first out of the inning, Yamada stole second base. Coco followed with a sharp single to left which was good enough to score Yamada. 2-2 All But once again the Swallows failed to take the lead.

Ishiyama came in to pitch the eighth for the Swallows and got two quick ground outs from the top of the BayStars’ order. Unfortunately things got a bit dicey as Ishiyama conceded a double to left field to Lopez. The Swallows elected to intentionally walk Tsutsugo. Ishiyama seemed to have control issues as he loaded the bases on four straight pitches to Shirasaki. The control woes continued against pintch hitter Otosaka as Ishiyama fell behind 3-1 before giving up a single to score a run. 3-2 BayStars Ishiyama finally regained control as he got ahead of Tobashira and finally induced a ground out to first to end the inning.

The BayStars brought out Yamasaki to close out the game. He walked Nakamura to open the inning and Hiyane came in to run for the catcher. Nishiura got down a bunt to advance the runner. Yachi hit a first pitch single to right to put men on the corners with one out. Ueda faked bunt a few times before launching a fly to center deep enough to score Hiyane. 3-3 All Yamada wasn’t able to become a hero as he flied out harmlessly to end the inning.

Lueke pitched a perfect ninth to send the game to extras. Tsutsugo left the game on defense in the ninth with a slight limp and Lopez was taken out for a pinch runner, so with the BayStars biggest threats out of the game things felt like they favored the Swallows.

The Swallows offense wasted a lead off infield single by Yuhei, and a Coco strikeout and a Hatake GIDP ended the threat.

Lueke came out to pitch the tenth and things went off the rails. Sekine started things off with a tricky bunt down the third base line that Lueke wasn’t able to handle but was ruled a single. Yamashita attempted to bunt the runner on but failed and ended up striking out. However, Lueke gave up the base anyway with a wild pitch to Shirasaki. Lueke was clearly a bit flustered and the following strike two pitch was ruled a balk. (Not enough of a pause/set before the pitch.) Lueke was clearly pissed off and did not hide his anger towards the umpire, necessitating a calming visit from Ito the pitching coach.So instead of a 2-2 count with a man on second, Lueke found himself with a 2-1 count with a man on third. Shirasaki took the next pitch he saw a grounded the ball sharply to third. Yachi threw the ball a bit too far from home forcing Nishida to reach away from the plate giving Sekine a clear slide into home before Nishida was able to get a tag. While the play was close, it was pretty clear Sekine was safe and Manaka wasn’t able to convince the umps to even review the play. 4-3 BayStars FINAL

Notes

  • The loss puts the Swallows at 4-8 and in fifth place in the CL. 0.5 games behind the BayStars (4-7-1) and marginally ahead of the Dragons (3-7-2).
  • In more hopeful news, Ishikawa’s 2 earned runs in 6 innings was good enough for the Swallows 10th quality start of the season. The Swallows have gotten 10 quality starts in 12 games and lead the CL with a 3.10 team ERA.
  • Unfortunately the offense ranks last in the CL with a .228 batting average. They also rank last in home runs and steals.
  • The Swallows and BayStars will play again tomorrow at 14:00. Ryan Ogawa is scheduled to start against Kenta Ishida whom the Swallows beat in the season opener.
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.