It's nice to have an opponent play like the Mayumi Tigers - blowing a five run lead. Tigers fight back and batting was impressive despite some less than stellar pitching and calling. Both Messenger and Fujii were depressing. Incidentally while we're on depressing. Cheng, who gave up a run in relief against the BayStars on Sunday has been dropped to the second team. He only had one game and faced two batters! The useless Fujihara is still in the top team despite being a lesser pitcher - is it any wonder Tigers have difficulty developing pitchers. Cheng showed quite a lot of potential whereas Fujihara is not worth the effort. The latter failed to complete his innings in this game. Murton back in the lineup certainly made a difference against some indifferent pitching (Tateyama was not at his best). Scores
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tigers 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 0 5 12 0
Swallows 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 7 0
1. Hirano (Second)
2. Shibata (Centre)
3. Toritani (Short)
4. Arai (Third)
5. Brazell (First)
6. Murton (Right)
7. Kanemoto (Left)
8. Fujii (Catcher)
9. Messenger (Pitcher)
1. Tanaka (Second)
2. Ueda (Centre)
3. Milledge (Left)
4. Hatakeyama (First)
5. Kawabata (Short)
6. Miyamoto (Third)
7. Balentien (Right)
8. Aikawa (Catcher)
9. Tateyama (Pitcher)
Tigers would have liked a good start but didn't get it. Despite his struggles later, Tateyama was very good in the early innings. He motored through Tigers first retiring the batters in order. Messenger's luck was out from the first innings. With one out he walked Ueda who then stole second. Milledge singled to right but Ueda did not attempt home and stopped on third. Hatakeyama hit back to Messenger but Ueda was still able to make home safely 1-0 Swallows, runner on second. Kawabata finished the innings by striking out. Tigers second was even briefer than the first with the batters falling over themselves to be out. Miyamoto led off Swallows second with a single but then was extinguished in a double play. Aikawa then hit one to Hirano for the final out. With one out in Tigers third Fujii singled right - this was a sign that Tateyama was beginning to struggle. Messenger tried to bunt but was out to his third failed attempt. Then Hirano grounded struck out to end the innings. The Messenger/Fujii communication fell apart in Swallows third with, once again, the Tigers catcher demonstrating his limits. It started with Tateyama picking up a lead off walk. Tanaka singled to set up runners on first and second with no outs. Ueda flew out and Milledge struck out but the third out proved elusive. Hatakeyama walked to load the bases and then Kawabata also picked up a walk - both on full counts, oshidashi 2-0 Swallows, bases loaded. Fujii's calling of the outside pitch in this sequence of walks was ill considered and short sighted. Messenger didn't have good command of the corners and it was just inviting trouble. Miyamoto followed and singled right to bring in a run 3-0 Swallows, bases loaded. Then Balentien also hit right - deeper than Miyamoto and the runners set off for home. Two made it but the third was tagged out at the plate 5-0 Swallows and a nice lead.
Tigers needed to respond after this disaster but the first two batters of the fourth fell and it didn't look promising until Arai stepped up to the plate. He drove his second pitch - a slider into the back screen for a solo home run 5-1 Swallows. Brazell tried to capitalize but was only able to ground out to short. Rather than risk Messenger for another innings Wada put Tsuru on the mound instead. This was a wise move though he could have replaced his catcher as well but in the end that wasn't so much of a problem. Tsuru did well and struck out two looking in the Swallows fourth to keep the margin at four. Tigers then reduced it a bit more in their fifth. Murton led off with a single. Kanemoto flew out but Fujii singled again to set up runners on first and second. Johjima (pinch hitter) flew out and then Hirano singled to bring in a run 5-2 Swallows, runners on first and third. Finally Shibata grounded out but Tigers were creeping closer. Watanabe took over for Swallows fifth and was in calm mode, retiring the batters in order. Swallows decided that five innings of Tateyama was enough and went to their relief. Oshimoto pitched Tigers sixth and gave up a hit to Brazell but nothing came of this. Swallows sixth saw Kawabata lead off with a single. He was bunted to second by Miyamoto in what was a waste of an out as per usual. Balentien grounded out to take the runner to third but then Aikawa grounded out and the innings was scoreless.
Matsuoka took over for Tigers seventh and was poor to say the least. He struck out Kanemoto and was so pleased by this that he got a bit careless and dead balled Fujii. Sekimoto (pinch hitter) walked and Hirano singled to right to load the bases. Tigers were very wary of testing Balentien's arm and Fujii isn't exactly the fastest thing on two legs but there must have been a run there. Matsuoka was replaced by Masabuchi which worked exactly as planned. Shibata flew out but not deep enough and then Toritani struck out and Tigers had missed an opportunity. Luckily there would be another. Swallows seventh was pitched by Fujihara who gave up a one out single to Tanaka. He got the next out and was then replaced by Fukuhara who got the final out of the innings. Masabuchi started Tigers eighth by giving up a single to Arai. This brought up Brazell who walloped his first pitch into the back screen for a two run home run 5-4 Swallows. Fujii was not the only one who had trouble with his calling. Murton singled to centre, followed by Kanemoto who also singled - runners on first and third with no outs. Kanemoto was pinch run for by Yamato who stole second. This brought a change in pitcher and Hidaka took over. Fujii flew out to centre - once again not deep enough. The next batter was Shunsuke who tried a squeeze. Tigers have been rehearsing these and the practice paid off with a vengeance. Murton slid home for the tying run 5-5, runner on third. Hirano though failed to repeat his success of the earlier innings and struck out. Tigers had eliminated a five run deficit. Enokida took over for the Swallows eighth and struggled with Fujii as per usual. He walked Hatakeyama who was pinch run for by a pachimon Hiyama. Hiyama was bunted to second and then Miyamoto was deliberately walked. A pointless move but indicative of Fujii's level of panic when calling to Enokida. He needn't have worried, Takeuchi (replacement first) and then Aikawa both struck out and the Swallows hadn't scored. Barnette pitched Tigers ninth and gave up a single to the lead off batter, Hiyama (pinch hitter). He was pinch run for by Asai who was bunted to second by Toritani. Proof that it is not only the Swallows laying down the stupid bunts. Both Arai and Brazell tried to drive the runner home but both failed and struck out swinging. Fujikawa took the Swallows ninth and retired the batters in order to end the game. A tied game.
A great result for the Tigers who had fought back from a five run deficit to draw level. The game took a long time and so didn't get into extra innings. Neither starter had been on top form but once again Fujii had been inadequate. The sooner Johjima is back the sooner he can be relegated to the bench. He did have a good night with the bat though.
Re: April 4th Messenger v Tateyama - Swallows blow it
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Apr 6, 2012 8:57 AM
Is the 3.5 hour time limit already decided for the full season again? Or will they possibly modify it throughout the year depending on the energy situation?