Sept 30th, 2017 vs Chunichi

September 30th, 2017

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 5TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 7

Streak: Won 1          Last 5: LLLLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Your Birds ended the month on a positive note, and it took five relievers to do it.

W: Akiyoshi (5-5; 2.63 ERA )
L: Sobue (1-1; 2.57)
S Lueke (11; 2.56)

Meanwhile, 19-year-old rookie pitcher, Terashima, got his first career start. Hirooka also made an appearance for the first time since July.

 Chunichi Tokyo
1Kyoda (SS)1Sakaguchi (RF)
2Kondo (CF)2Yamasaki (CF)
3 Fujii (RF)3 Yamada (2B)
4 Fukuda (3B)4Balentien (LF)
5Matsui (LF)5Araki (1B)
6Abe (2B)6Nakamura (C)
7Takahashi (1B)7Nishiura (SS)
8Takyama (C)8Hirooka (3B)
9Ohno (P)
7 IP | 9 H | 5 R (4 ER)
3 0/3 IP | 73 NP | 5 H | 1 HR | 3 K | 3 BB | 5 ER
1 IP | 2 ER
1 IP | 0 H | 0 HR | 0 R | 0 ER
2 IP | 0 H | 0 HR | 0 R | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 H | 0 HR | 0 R | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 H | 0 HR | 0 R | 0 ER
1 IP | 0 H | 0 HR | 0 R | 0 ER

The start of this game was a bit uncomfortable for the Swallows as Terashima gave up a two run jack to Fukuda with two outs in the first.

0-2 Chunichi

With two runners in scoring position and two outs on the board, Terashima allowed an RBI single to Kyoda which doubled the damage.

0-4 Chunichi

After issuing a walk to start the third, Terashima posted his first and only scoreless inning of the game.

And to celebrate, the offense finally responded. Sakaguchi hit his second single in as many at-bats, and Yamasaki doubled to put runners on second and third.

Yamada hit his first single of the game which pushed Sakaguchi home from third, and Balentien followed with a three-run dinger to right to tie the game.

It was Balentien’s 32nd homer of the year.


Terashima again started with a walk in the fourth, and he was yanked after Ohno notched an RBI. Despite inheriting a mess, Yamamoto escaped the inning without allowing any further harm.

4-5 Chunichi

All told, a combination of five relievers kept Chunichi hitless for the remainder of the game (only Yamamoto allowed a base runner via walk).

Bottom of the fourth: Hirooka singles to second, and he’s Tak-bunted over by Miwa (pinch-hitting for Yamamoto). Hirooka later scored from third on Sakaguchi’s sac fly to right.


Tokyo wasn’t able to get anything going in the fifth and sixth innings, but the seventh saw two base runners.

It wasn’t until the eighth inning that the offense made it count.

With Sobue on the mound for Chunichi, Obiki’s one-out walk was followed by Hirooka’s second single of the game. Ohmatsu loaded the bases with a walk of his own.

Sakaguchi put the Birds into the lead for the first time and for good when he singled a 1-1 slider to left.


Lueke pitched a perfect ninth, and that was it. A rare win.

**Game Notes:

  • Sakaguchi was 3-4 at the plate (three singles), three RBI, and 1 run scored.
  • Yamada was 2-5 with an RBI.
  • Nakamura (1B, BB) and Obiki (BB, BB) both reached base twice.
  • Hirooka was 2-4 with a pair of singles and two runs scored.
  • Yamada is the only Swallows player leading an offensive category league-wide: walks (91).


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