Sept 3rd, 2017 vs. Hiroshima

September 3rd, 2017

Hiroshima Carp 9TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 7 Last 7: LLLLLLL

(Tokyo Mazda Stadium feat. DJ Patrick and Dance Teams Sparkles & Passion)

Unlike the previous two games, the Swallows’ seventh straight loss wasn’t even close. The only redeeming feature of the evening was knowing that the Jingu stands would not play host to any more red fans for the rest of 2017.

 123456789RHE
Carp031301001980
Swallows101000000270
W: Okada (12-5); L: Yamanaka (2-6)
 Carp Swallows
1Kosuke Tanaka (SS)1Kotaro Yamasaki (CF)
2Ryosuke Kikuchi (2B)2Ryota Fujii (3B)
3Yoshihiro Maru (CF)3Wladimir Balentien (LF)
4Ryuhei Matsuyama (LF)4Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
5Tomohiro Abe (1B)5Tomotaka Sakaguchi (RF)
6Ryuma Nishikawa (3B)6Carlos Rivero (1B)
7Tsubasa Aizawa (C)7Nobuyuki Okumura (SS)
8Takayoshi Noma (RF)8Akihisa Nishida (C)
9Akitake Okada (P)9Hirofumi Yamanaka (P)

If baseball was simply a one inning affair the Swallows would’ve come away winners. Yamanaka pitched a perfect top of the first inning on just eight pitches. A Yamasaki lead off single turned into a run after a sac bunt was followed by a Coco double. 1-0 Swallows (Incidentally the first time the Swallows have taken a lead in a game since August 26.)

Unfortunately, baseball is played over nine innings, and Yamanaka had to come out and pitch a second inning. Yamanaka’s second inning demonstrated why it’s so hard to be a submarine pitcher at the pro level. If batters make solid contact on your pitches, they fly very far. Matsuyama demonstrated that with a solo shot to right to open the inning. 1-1 All Abe singled and then Aizawa took a 106 km/h (66 mi/h) Yamanaka curveball for a ride into left field. 3-1 Carp

In the third inning Tanaka lead off with a deep double and eventually came home on a Maru sac fly. 4-1 Carp

Yamada hit a solid opposite field homer in the bottom of the third to make it close, but the Yamanaka air show continued into the fourth. 4-2 Carp

After getting two deep fly ball outs to start the inning. Yamanaka gave up consecutive walks to Aizawa and Noma. But even pitchers can become power hitters against a submariner as Okada took a 123 km/h (76mi/h) fastball up the middle and made it a double to left field to score two. 6-2 Carp The Swallows pulled Yamanaka for Yamamoto to face Tanaka and Yamamoto proved that even non-submariners can be bad as he promptly conceded an RBI double to Tanaka. 7-2 Carp

Kondo pitched a scoreless fifth but also got tagged with a homer by Aizawa to lead off the sixth. 8-2 Carp

Ishikawa pitched the seventh and eighth innings (getting 4 Ks in the process) and broke the trend of Swallows pitchers conceding runs. Muranaka, however, succumbed to peer pressure and did what the other Swallows pitchers did by walking his first two batters and letting one eventually score on a grounder. 9-2 Carp

The Swallows’ offense meanwhile didn’t get much done. The total hits tally might look close on the boxscore (8-7) but the Swallows were outhit 6-2 on extra-base hits. Which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the score. 9-2 Carp FINAL

Notes

  • Daiki Watanabe was called up today and made his first team debut as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning. He flied out to third, but ran the bases really fast.
  • David Buchanan was removed from the active roster to make room for Watanabe. It was later reported that Buchanan was diagnosed with a rare muscle contusion in his right pinky. The injury does not seem serious but it’s unclear whether the team will risk a Buchanan return this season.
  • Today’s loss marks the 11th straight Sunday without a win for the Swallows. The Swallows have gone 0-10-1 in that span. The team went 6-4-1 in the first 11 Sundays of the season.
  • Unlike the Swallows, the Dragons refused to get swept as they won against the Tigers at Koshien. The end of the road to sixth place is getting closer.
  • The Swallows will now go on the road for the next two series first to Yokohama Tueday-to-Thursday, and then to the Tokyo Dome from Friday.
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.