August 20th, 2017 @ Hiroshima

August 20, 2017

TS Logo 150x transparentTokyo Swallows 5

Hiroshima Carp 6

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWLWL

(Mazda Zooooom Zooooooom Stadium)

The birds lose a heartbreaker in extra innings down in the ‘shima.

W: Nakazaki (3-0); L: Lueke (3-5)
 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)
5Rivero (1B)5Matsuyama (LF)
6Ryota Fujii (3B)6Eldred (1B)
7Yuhei Nakamura (C)7Tomohiro Abe (3B)
8Nobuyuki Okumura (SS)8Aizawa (C)
9Yamanaka (P)9Okada Akitake (P)

The scoring:

Hiroshima struck first. In the bottom of the fourth, Matsuyama hit a solo homer into the right stands. 1-0.

Tokyo struck back in glorious fashion in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Balentien jammed his 26th of the year into those same stands to make things 1-4.

The Swallows added another run to their lead in the seventh with a successful squeeze from Yamasaki. 1-5.

But this is the 2017 Swallows, man. They don’t win that easy. In the bottom of the eighth, Ishiyama came in in relief and gave up a combination of base hits (two) and home runs (two) to make things 5-5.

The birds held the tie until extra innings, but got sayonara’ed by ol’ face-twitching Eldred in the tenth. 6-5 Hiroshima, final.

Game notes:

  • This was the game that make it mathematically impossible for the Swallows to go .500 or over for the season.
  • …which prompted Manaka, whose three-year contract as manager ends this season, to announce definitively he will not be returning for 2018. On August 22, he spoke about it publicly, saying he wouldn’t have the confidence to win even if given another year. Manaka has had a weak couple years (and this season has been particularly bad), but one wonders if injuries are more to blame than his coaching abilities, and whether the next manager (looking, at this point, like current farm coach Shingo Takatsu) will be able to do any better. The feelings: they be mixed. Anyway, we’ll always have 2015.
  • The Manaka Retirement Tour begins at Jingu vs. Hanshin August 22.