April 7th 2017, @ Hiroshima

April 7th, 2017

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 1

Hiroshima Carp 4

Streak: Lost 3 Last 5: WWLLL

(Mazda Stadium)

It was a battle between a rookie and a veteran as the Carp debuted their 2016 first round draftee Takuya Kato while the Swallows countered with Masanori Ishikawa. By the end of the game, the story was all about Kato.

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W: Kato (1-0)
L: Ishikawa (1-1)
S: Nakazaki (1)

 Swallows Carp
1Keiji Obiki (SS)1Kosuke Tanaka (SS)
2Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)
3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)3Yoshihiro Maru (CF)
4Wladimir Balentien (LF)4Takahiro Arai (1B)
5Yuhei (Takai) (RF)5Seiya Suzuki (RF)
6Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (1B)6Brad Eldred (LF)
7Yuhei Nakamura (C)7Tetsuya Kokubo (3B)
8Ryota Yachi (3B)8Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)
9Masanori Ishikawa (P)9Takuya Kato (P)

The Carp struck first as back-to-back two out doubles by Maru and Arai put a single run on the board. 1-0 Carp

Meanwhile, Kato was being the definition of effectively wild. While racked up walks he was also getting lots of strikeouts as the Swallows batters weren’t able to wait on a particular pitch. Through the first three innings, Kato walked four batters but struck out five.

The Carp gave Kato a bigger cushion in the third. Arai and Suzuki hit back-to-back one out singles and they advanced on a Eldred grounder. Kokubo cashed both runners in with a single to strech the lead. 3-0 Carp

The next five innings from Kato were more controlled as he only allowed two walks and got three strikeouts. Through the first eight innings Kato only allowed two balls to reach the outfield, both fly balls to right field. Kato carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning on 124 pitches.

But before Kato could pitch the ninth, the Carp got an insurance run off of Dohi who was recalled earlier in the day. Dohi’s season debut was a bit shaky as he loaded the bases with one out, giving up a walk sandwiched by two singles. The insurance run came in the form of an Ishihara sac fly, but the inning ended without further damage. 4-0 Carp

The no-no anticipation was high in Hiroshima as Kato took the mound in the ninth. Sakaguchi went down on a first pitch grounder, before Kato walked Yamada on six pitches. Coco promptly played spoiler as he poked a single to left on his first pitch, breaking up the no-no. Yuhei broke up the shutout bid three pitches later with a single to right. 4-1 Carp The Carp brought in Nakazaki to close the game and after getting Hatake to fly out he made things interesting by allowing a hit to Nakamura to load the bases. Unfortunately Araki wasn’t able to become a hero as he flied out after a six pitch min-battle. 4-1 Carp FINAL

Notes

  • Kato would’ve been the second player in NPB history to debut with a no hitter. The only player to accomplish that feat was Shinichi Kondo of the Dragons who debuted by no-hitting the Giants in 1981.
  • Kato’s final line was 8.1 IP / 135 P / 2 H / 7 BB / 7 K / 1 R / 1 ER. He induced 15 grounders, 3 fly balls, and no liners.
  • Ishikawa managed 6 IP / 92 P / 6 H / 3 BB / 4 K / 3 R / 3 ER.
  • Muranaka pitched the seventh inning and walked a batter but gout out of the jam with a double play.
  • The Carp are undefeated since dropping their opening game and have a 5-1-1 record.
  • The Carp will send out Akitake Okada, who had a rough outing against the Tigers in his first start. While the Swallows will send out Yasuhiro Ogawa out to try to break the Swallows losing streak.
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.