Sept 1st, 2017 vs. Hiroshima

September 1st, 2017

Hiroshima Carp 3TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 5 Last 5: LLLLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

The Carp were looking to kick off September with a win as they had lost their last two in August to post their first losing month (12-13-2) in 2017. The Swallows (August record 7-19) however, were more than ready to show who was the bigger loser.

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W: Johnson (6-3); L: Hoshi (4-7); S: Nakazaki (3)
 Carp Swallows
1Kosuke Tanaka (SS)1Tomotaka Sakaguchi (RF)
2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)2Kotaro Yamasaki (CF)
3Yoshihiro Maru (CF)3Wladimir Balentien (LF)
4Ryuhei Matsuyama (RF)4Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
5Tomohiro Abe (1B)5Carlos Rivero (3B)
6Ryuma Nishikawa (3B)6Takahiro Araki (1B)
7Soichiro Amaya (LF)7Yuhei Nakamura (C)
8Yoshiyuki Ishihara (C)8Naomichi Nishiura (SS)
9Kris Johnson (P)9Tomoya Hoshi (P)

The Swallows offense missed some opportunities against Kris Johnson early as they squandered a one-out second-third situation in the first, and an one-out man-on-second situation in the second. After those innings Johnson buckled down and held the Swallows hit-less until the eighth.

Meanwhile, rookie Hoshi changed things up and pitched exclusively from the stretch and was effective in keeping the Carp bats at bay. While he wasn’t perfect he was able to keep the Carp off the board for five innings.

The Carp finally got their first run in the sixth after Maru opened the inning with a single to center and Matsuyama walked to put two men on with no outs. Abe laid down a bunt to advance the runners and Nishikawa popped up to right to score a run. 1-0 Carp Hoshi gave up a single to Amaya to extend the inning but got Ishihara to ground out to limit the damage to just one run.

Hoshi came out in the seventh and opened the inning with two outs. Kikuchi hit a liner that split the center and right fielders for a double. Hoshi then issued a walk to Maru and faced Matsuyama. Matsuyama sent the first pitch he saw to left-center and got a double to score two runs. 3-0 Carp Hoshi was then pulled and Matsuoka got the final out to end the inning.

Johnson was on such a roll that the Carp sent him out in the eighth. With the pitcher’s spot up the Swallows sent Hiyane out to kick start the action. Hiyane managed to hit a broken bat infield pop up that managed to land between the pitcher and infielders for an infield single. Sakaguchi flied out but Yamasaki singled to put men on the corners. Coco came up with a chance to tie the game with a homer but he struck out swinging while Yamasaki stole second. With that strikeout the Carp elected to bring out the right-handed Jackson to face Yamada and Rivero. Jackson nibbled around the edges against Yamada and walked him to load the bases. Against Rivero, Jackson wasn’t able to find the zone as he walked the Venezuelan on four pitches. 3-1 Carp

The Swallows then elected to send out Takeuchi instead of Araki to face Jackson. Takeuchi promptly fell behind 0-2 swinging eliciting a familiar groan from the Swallows faithful. But then Takeuchi managed to foul off seven pitches and eventually drew a 13 pitch walk to score yet another run. 3-2 Carp (Incidentally, Takeuchi’s pinch hit RBI was the first for a Swallows pinch hitter since the great 11-run comeback on July 26.)

The Carp pulled Jackson and sent out Imamura to face Nakamura. Nakamura grounded out to end the inning and the threat. The Swallows weren’t able to get anything going against the Nakazaki, the Carp closer, in the ninth and the Swallows dropped their fifth straight. 3-2 Carp FINAL

Notes

  • Hoshi recorded a career-high 7 strikeouts. His final line was 6.2 IP / 112 P / 9 H / 2 BB / 3 R / 3 ER.
  • The loss officially eliminated the Swallows from CS contention guaranteeing the Swallows a fourth-place or worse finish. But let’s be honest, we’re gonna finish in sixth place this season.
  • By my calculations the Swallows have an elimination number of 11.5 trailing the Dragons for fifth place. In order words any combination of Dragons wins, Swallows losses, and ties (0.5) that equal 11.5 will doom the Swallows to a sixth-place finish.
  • The Swallows will send Ogawa to face Yabuta at Jingu tomorrow evening.
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.