July 29th, 2017 @ Hiroshima

July 29th, 2017

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 9

Hiroshima Carp 1

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWWLW

(Mazda Zooooom Zooooooom Stadium)

The offense is still working, and your Birds got back to winning ways in Hiroshima.

The W put an end to a losing streak in Hiroshima stretching all the way back to June 30th, 2016. This feels like the first time in quite some time that the Swallows have won on a Saturday. It’s weird.

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W: Ogawa (5-4); L: Yabuta (9-2)

The triumph also prevented Yabuta from earning his 10th win of the season before the end of July. He’s already beat us three times this season. It’s nice to get one back on him.

 Swallows Carp
1Tomotaka Sakaguchi (RF)1Kosuke Tanaka (SS)
2Kotaro Yamasaki (CF)2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)
3Wladimir Balentien (LF)3Yoshihiro Maru (CF)
4Tetsuto Yamada (2B)4Seiya Suzuki (RF)
5Omatsu Shoitsu (1B)5Ryuhei Matsuyama (LF)
6Ryota Fujii (3B)6Takahiro Arai (1B)
7Yuhei Nakamura (C)7Tomohiro Abe (3B)
8Nobuyuki Okumura (SS)8Tsubasa Aizawa (C)
9Yasuhiro Ogawa (P)9Kazuki Yabuta (P)

Balentien started the scoring in the top of the first when he absolutely jacked one to left on a 2-2 Yabuta shuuto. It was his 20th of the season and fifth in as many games.

According to our own Kozo Ota, the longest streak Balentien recorded during his historic 60 HR season in 2013 was four games. He also homered in three consecutive games six times that crazy season.

1-0 Tokyo

Hiroshima found their lone game of the contest with a little help from Yamada in the bottom of the second. Matsuyama’s grounder got past him allowing an unearned runner to reach first.  He scored two his later on Abe’s single to right. Ogawa shut things down after that by recording three straight outs (two via strikeout) to strand the two base runners.

1-1

Ogawa ended up pitching six complete innings, and it took him 121 pitches to get there. He faced 24 batters and struck out five while allowing four hits and three walks. He got the win and his ERA eased to 2.83.

The Tokyo bats reawoke in the fifth. Omatsu grounded a 1-0 heater into right to start things off, and he advanced all the way to third on the ensuing ground-outs. He scored on Okumura’s liner to center with two outs.

2-1 Tokyo

The sixth inning was also enjoyable for Tokyo fans. After Sakaguchi’s fly out to right, Yamasaki drew a four-pitch walk, and Hiroshima’s second baseman returned the favor with an error that allowed Balentien to reach base on a what could have been a double-play ball.

Yamada then pounced on the first pitch he saw, a cutter on the outside of the plate, and the ball landed on the other side of the wall for his 16th homer of the year.

Omatsu compounded Yabuta’s misery by giving his next cutter another ride. This one ended up in the right field bleachers, Omatsu’s third of the season.

6-1 Tokyo

And that was it for Yabuta. At least for today.

The Swallows added more of a cushion in the top of the ninth. Nakamura led off with a walk, and Okumura Tak-bunted him over to second.

Iihara then sent him to third when he ripped a high changeup into left field. With runners on the corners,  Sakaguchi brought Nakamura home from third with a single to left.

One pitch later, both runners crossed home plate on Yamasaki’s double to right.

9-1 FINAL

Kondo (1-2, 1S, 5.40 ERA), Ishiyama (2-4, 2.70), and Lueke (3-4, 3.16) pitched one scoreless inning of relief each.

Tokyo will attempt the nearly impossible feat of winning a series in Hiroshima tomorrow starting at 6 PM. Okada is scheduled to pitch for Hiroshima, fresh off a win against Chunichi one week ago when he allowed one run over six and two-thirds innings.

Ishikawa will take the mound for Tokyo. He has neither won a game since before the interleague portion of the season, nor lasted six full frames any time in recent memory. Advantage: Hiroshima.

**Game Notes:

  • Sakaguchi and Omatsu both had multi-hit games. Sakaguchi was 2-5 with an RBI (1B), and Omatsu was 2-3 with an RBI (HR).
  • The only other Bird to reach base twice was Yamasaki who was 1-4 with a walk and two RBI (2B).
  • Tokyo’s pinch-hitters were 3-4 this evening. Hiyane (7th inning), Takeuchi (8th), and Iihara (9th) all had pinch-hit singles before Ueda (9th) ended the streak by grounding out to second.
About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini