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The Swallows Clinch a Climax Series Berth

by on Oct.10, 2009 @ 1:25 pm, under Game Summaries, NPB

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Hanshin Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 0
Yakult Swallows 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 X 3 6 1

Jingu | Attendance: 33,218 | Time: 3h 9m | Swallows lead series, 15-9-0

The Swallows swept a 2-game series against the Tigers by winning the second game, 3-1.

Despite giving up 8 hits and 2 walks over 7.1 innings of work, Masanori Ishikawa somehow managed to hold the Tigers to just 1 unearned run: in the top of the 7th Kodai Sakurai (1-for-4, R) led off with a single into center; Keisuke Kano (0-for-2, 2 IBB) reached first on a fielding error by Onizaki (SS) that put runners on first and third; Mitsunobu Takahashi (1-for-1, RBI) then followed with a single into center to drive in the first and only Tigers' run of the game.

Chang-Yong Lim entered the game in the top of the 8th and retired 5 batters in a row to close out the game for his 28th save of the year.

On offense, the Swallows set the tone of the game by scoring a run in the bottom of the first:

Kazuki Fukuchi (1-for-3, BB, 2 R) started things off with a single into center and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Yoshiyuki Noguchi (0-for-1, HBP).  Shinya Miyamoto (2-for-4, RBI) reached on an infield single that put runners on first and second.  A wild pitch moved the runners up a base and Norichika Aoki (1-for-2, 2 BB, R, RBI) drove in the first run of the game with a single into left.  Only an unfortunate 1-4-3 double play by Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (0-for-3) with runners on first and third prevented the Swallows from doing anymore damage in the first.

The Swallows added single runs in the 6th and 7th for their 3-1 lead:

6th: with runners on first and second and 2 out, Ryohei Kawamoto (1-for-4, RBI) drove in the second run of the game with a single into center.

7th: with a runner on third and 1 out, Miyamoto drove in the third run of the game with a single into right

Missed Opportunities
Tigers
2nd: runners on first and second, 1 out > Sakurai grounded out, runners second and third, Kano intentionally walked, basses loaded, and Iwata grounded out
3rd: runners on second, 1 out > Toritani grounded out and Kanemoto grounded out
4th: runner on second, no out > Brazell flied out, Sakurai struck out, Kano intentionally walked, runners on first and second, Iwata grounded out
7th: runners on first and second, no out > Hirano bunted - force out at third, runners on first and second, Sekimoto flied out, Toritani singled, bases loaded, Kanemoto fouled out to the catcher
8th: runner on second, no out > Brazell grounded out, runner on third, Sakurai struck out and Kano flied out
9th: runner on second, 1 out > Hiyama struck out and Toritani flied out

Swallows
1st: runners on first and third, 2 out > Hatakeyama GIDP
2nd: runner on second, no out > Kawamoto struck out, Onizaki grounded out, runner on third, Ishikawa grounded out
3rd: runners on first and third, 2 out > Hatakeyama flied out
6th: bases loaded, 2 out > Ishikawa grounded out

Tigers: 11 LOB, 0 DP
Swallows: 7 LOB, 0 DP

News
The Tigers outhit the Swallows, 8-6. ... Ishikawa notched a career high 13 wins.

Hanshin Tigers

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Iwata, Minoru L 16 7 5 0 6 115 27 21 5 0 3 4 1 1 2 0 2 2 2.684
Atchison, Scott 75 5 3 0 2 31 7 5 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1.700

Yakult Swallows

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Ishikawa, Masanori L 29 13 7 0 7 1/3 106 33 30 8 0 2 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 3.539
Lim, Chang-Yong S 57 5 4 28 1 2/3 31 6 5 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.053

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...The Swallows will begin selling t-shirts (3,000yen) commemorating their Climax Series  Berth on the 10th.

...Tickets for the game sold out 30 minutes after the first pitch.

...The Swallows are the first team, in either league, to earn a Climax Series Berth with a losing record since it was first introduced in 2007.  Even if the Swallows sweep their final 2 games of the season, they'll finish 71-72-1.

...The team celebrated with non-alcoholic beer on Friday night.

...Perhaps fittingly, Aoki caught the final out of the game.  Aoki played a fairly big role in the Swallows' sweep of the Tigers in this 2-game series.

...The Swallows are trying to set up a public viewing of the First Round of the Climax Series against the Chunichi Dragons at Jingu Stadium.