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The Swallows at Jingu

Baseball news from Japan and Asia

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

This blog will attempt to report on as many Hanshin Tigers games as possible. Games will be, if possible, reported the day after and on rare occasions the same day.

The Swallows at Jingu

1 reply. Most recent reply: Apr 3, 2016 1:38 PM by Guest

Tigers are currently using a five man rotation which is a reversion to the days when Kanemoto, Yano et al were active players. Whether it will work is still open to question but Tigers pitchers haven't exactly been keeping the pitch count down.
Tigers first away series (at their second home) started amazingly well against a poor starting Swallows who had yet to win a game. Tigers seized the lead in the top of the second with a single from Umeno which brought two runners home 2-0. With Fujinami controlling the game well though running the pitch count up Swallows continued to struggle though they did cut the lead in half in the fourth. The response was immediate. Swallows pitcher, Tateyama, had already demonstrated wobbles and careless with his first pitch to Gomez who hit the ball high and far for a three run home run 5-1 Tigers. With a comfortable lead one would have expected Fujinami to be replaced after the seventh but for some reason he wasn't. There was no shutout available and going for a complete game just didn't seem to have any point to it. However, continue he did but tired in the ninth and gave up another run. Mateo came on to earn the save and Tigers won 6-2. Apart from the strange decision to pitch Fujinami the entire game it had been a well run game.
The second of the series saw the desperate Swallows finally get a win. It was quite a comprehensive win too. Iwata pitched for the Tigers and was just as rusty as Messenger was in his first game. Swallows comfortably hammered out the hits (hit count 14-5) and took the lead in their second 1-0. Tigers tied it 1-1 in the fourth but then Swallows took the go-ahead run in the bottom. The game ended as a contest in the sixth. Messenger was knocked out of the game after a succession of hits including one home run and a Swallows lead of 5-1. Tsuru couldn't stem the tide and Swallows scored two more runs to take an unassailable lead. The seventh saw another run for the Swallows 8-1 and so Tigers were heading for defeat. Swallows though were in generous mood and gifted Tigers three runs in the ninth and it was basically gifting - a Gomez three run home run 8-4 but it only delayed the inevitable and Swallows had their first victory of the season.
The rubber game didn't produce any result though. Messenger again pitched to Okazaki and we are still waiting to see why he's preferred to Tsuruoka, Shimizu or Komiyama. Neither team could hold the lead they earned Tigers went 2-0 ahead in the first with Takayama hitting his first career home off the first pitch of Davies in NPB. Then Swallows bounced back with Takai doubling two in to tie the game in the bottom. Swallows took the lead in the fifth but lost it in the seventh 5-3 Swallows. Unfortunately Messenger couldn't hold it and the Swallows bounced back yet again 5-5. This was the situation after 9 and everyone settled down for extra innings. As per normal for Japanese baseball the closer was not deployed in the ninth but kept back and Tigers managed to seize a lead in the 11th as incompetent pitching by Swallows loaded the bases and generated a walk-in with two out. Nishioka couldn't put the game beyond doubt and basically he is worthless in bases loaded situations which makes one ask why was Yamato used as a pinch runner for Toritani when he could have pinch hit for Nishioka and put the game beyond doubt. On came Mateo pitching to Okazaki and Swallows were able to get runners on then Kawabata supplied the game levelling double. Kanemoto switched catchers for the final innings Umeno taking over and he held the game steady ending 6-6 a marathon tie. A lot of strange tactical decisions going on in this series but it's early days and Kanemoto needs practice to become an effective manager and this is what we're all hoping for.
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Re: The Swallows at Jingu

[ Author: Guest: guest | Posted: Apr 3, 2016 1:38 PM ]
The five-man rotation didn't last long, with Iwasada pitching a great game yesterday. A good sign, as I don't think the five-man rotation is a good idea, considering how much they've overpitched Messenger in recent years and also the high pitch counts for Fujinami. Nohmi is also a bit long in the tooth and I'm not sure how long the Fujikawa as starter experiment will work, so would be good to go back to the six-man rotation. Very nice that Iwasada had a strong outing, as young Tigers pitchers don't get a lot of chances before being pulled from the rotation or sent back to the 2-gun.
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