October 3rd, 2017 vs. Yomiuri

October 3rd, 2017

Yomiuri Giants 10

Tokyo Swallows 6

Streak: Lost 5 Last 5: LLWLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

The Swallows’ finale was a fitting end to the 2017 season. A loss.

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W: Tone (1-0); L: Akiyoshi (5-6)
 Giants Swallows
1Dai-kang Yoh (CF)1Tomotaka Sakaguchi (CF)
2Naoki Yoshikawa (2B)2Takahiro Araki (1B)
3Hayato Sakamoto (SS)3Tetsuto Yamada (2B)
4Casey McGehee (3B)4Yuhei (Takai) (RF)
5Hisayoshi Ch**o (RF)5Wladimir Balentien (LF)
6Shingo Usami (C)
6Yuhei Nakamura (C)
7Kazuma Okamoto (1B)7Taishi Hirooka (3B)
8Shinnosuke Shigenobu (LF)8Keiji Obiki (SS)
9Kota Nakagawa (P)9Preston Guilmet (P)

Both teams came into the game with nothing to play for and the Giants elected to sit their fossils (Abe and Murata) and their ace (Sugano). Meanwhile the Swallows played a lineup that saw a returning Yuhei bat fourth.

Unfortunately the shine on starter Guilmet wore off and the Giants got on the board with a Yoshikawa (who?) single which was followed by a Sakamoto homer to center. 2-0 Giants

Guilmet also gave up a leadoff homer to Usami in the second to give the Giants an even bigger lead. 3-0 Giants

The Swallows finally got a run after two quick outs in the third. Araki doubled and Yamada hit a single to shallow center for a run. 3-1 Giants

The Swallows tied the game in the fourth. The Swallows once again gave up two quick outs before Hirooka singled and Obiki drew a walk. Omatsu came up to pinch hit for Guilmet and actually delivered a single to right to score a run. 3-2 Giants Sakaguchi followed with a single up the middle to tie the game. 3-3 All

The Swallows broke the game open with two outs in the fifth. Coco doubled and Nakamura got plunked to put two men on base. After uncorking a wild pitch Sakurai walked Hirooka to load the bases. Obiki singled in two runs and the Swallows had the lead. 5-3 Swallows Sakurai walked Yamasaki and while Sakaguchi was up Usami let a breaking ball get by him for yet another run. 6-3 Swallows

The Giants got those runs right back off of Yamamoto in the sixth. McGehee lead off the inning with a solo shot. 6-4 Swallows After Yamamoto gave up a single to Usami and a double to Shigenobu in between outs, the Swallows brought out Matsuoka and the Giants countered with Kamei. Kamei worked the count full and singled in two runs to tie the game. 6-6 All

The score remained tied heading into the ninth. Akiyoshi stepped on the mound and Aikawa came up to bat for the Giants. The Jingu PA played Aikawa’s old walkup music and the sold out crowd went wild. Aikawa managed to get an infield single and was promptly replaced by a pinch runner. Akiyoshi then plunked Yoh and got an out via a successful sac bunt. The Swallows elected to intentionally walk Sakamoto to load the bases. The move backfired as Akiyoshi gifted Yamamoto (who?) his first career homerun, a grand slam. 10-6 Giants

The Swallows managed to get a lead off walk to third base with two outs, but the season ended with a swinging strikeout by Hirooka. 10-6 Giants FINAL

Notes

  • After the game, both teams gathered to give Aikawa the doage treatment.
  • Earlier in the day the Swallows announced their first round of cuts which included veterans Imanami and Iihara. Their walk up music was played pre-game and the ouendan played their cheer songs in between innings. Imanami will retire as he has not been able to play at a high level due to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Iihara will try to find another team to play with next year.
  • The team lined up and after a short video package was played Manaka addressed the fans. He thanked them for their support and hoped that the team would be able to use this season’s frustrations to motivate them next year.
  • The Swallows finished with a 45-96-2 record. A new club record for losses in a season. The Swallows’ .319 winning percentage was the third worse in franchise history behind the 1970 Yakult Atoms (.264) and the 1950 Kokutetsu Swallows (.309).

We’d like to thank all of our readers for sticking around for this season. Big shout out to Matt Schley for stepping up this season to write game reports. We’ll be back in a few weeks with a final wrap-up podcast.

Have a fun offseason, y’all!

See y’all next year!

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.