June 4th, 2017 vs. Saitama

June 4th, 2017

Seibu Lions 8

Tokyo Swallows 8

Streak: Tie 1    Last 5: LLLLT

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After finding themselves down by five, the Swallows managed to claw their way back to… a tie.

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You know what? I’ll take it.

 Lions Swallows
1Yuji Kaneko (RF)1Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
2Sosuke Genda (SS)2Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)
3Shogo Akiyama (CF)3Wladimir Balentien (LF)
4Hideto Asamura (2B)4Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
5Takeya Nakamura (3B)5Dean Green (1B)
6Takumi Kuriyama (LF)6 Keiji Obiki (SS)
7Ernesto Mejía (1B)7Yuhei Nakamura (C)
8Sumitani (C)8Fujii (3b)
9Wolfe (P)9Hoshi (P)

Sunday boy Hoshi started for the Swallows, while Brian Wolfe took the mound for the Lions. Hoshi pitched two scoreless innings before giving up five to the Lions in the third, setting the birds up for what looked like their sixth straight loss in the circle of hell known as interleague. Another run off Hoshi and two off Nyaruse in the sixth gave the Lions of Saitama a total of eight Baseball Points.

Meanwhile, the Swallows offense did some chipping away at what looked like a pretty insurmountable lead. In the fourth, Balentien thunked the backscreen for a solo home run. In the fifth, Ohmatsu, brought in for Hoshi, twacked a ball in timely fashion to bring in another run. In the eighth, hits by Balentien, Yuhei and the newly-activated Dean Green brought in two runs, making things 4-8 – a distinct improvement, but still a losing score.

Then the bottom of the ninth happened.

After a grounder from Fujii and a hit from Araki, Yamada slammed one into the right stands to make things 6-8. A pop-up fly from Sakaguchi meant that the Swallows were one out away from their sixth straight loss, but it seems the kami of Meiji Jingu are tired of seeing the Swallows lose, or somethin’, because a series of miraculous events then unfolded.

First, subsequent hits from Balentien and Yuhei and a bobble by Lions outfielder Kaneko put men on the corners, then another hit from Green brought things to 7-8. Next: a grounder by Obiki that should’ve been an easy game-ending out for Saitama was thrown way over the head of first baseman, bringing the Swallows to an improbable 8-8.

That’s where things stayed until the end of the 12th, meaning victory for no one – but an end, at least, to the Swallows’ long losing streak.

Game notes:

  • Dean Green, playing for the ichi-gun for the first time, had three hits and drove in three runs. That is good.

  • Yuhei and Balentien both had three-hit games. Balentien’s average is now .291 while Yuhei’s is a striking .319. That is also good.
  • The next round of interleague hell will see us play the Softbank Hawks (those dudes we lost the Japan Series to, remember?) in Fukuoka in that stupid dome with the retractable roof they never actually open. And what the hell is a soft bank, anyway?