April 10th, 2009
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1
Yokohama BayStars 9
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLWWL
This was always going to happen, it’s just the Yakult way.
The Swallows travelled to Yokohama in a healthy state with two series wins to open the season with a 4-2 record. The BayStars on the other hand, had lost six straight, scoring a measly five runs while leaking a whopping forty-two. But if last season was anything to go by, where the birds struggled against the woeful ’08 ‘Stars, it wasn’t going to be as simple as it seemed on paper.
And so it turned out to be.
Yoshinori started for Yakult, and had a tough time of it as the Yokohama bats woke up to take out their frustrations on the youngster. He pitched sixty-nine pitches in his 4 and 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs off nine hits while striking out three and walking one.
Yokohama’s starter, the highly coveted and recently re-signed ace Daisuke Miura, had anything but a tough time of it. He was dominating, pitching 8 innings of one run four hit baseball while striking out six.
The BayStars pulled ahead in the 3rd, with shortstop Ishikawa bringing home Yoshimura for 1-0 Yokohama.
Three more runs followed in the 4th for Yokohama to make it 4-0 before Tokyo pulled one back in the top of the 5th. Fukuchi singled home Aikawa and it was 4-1 Yokohama.
But that was the only run they’d score, and the Baystars added three more in the 5th, and two in the 6th (off reliever Satoh) to cap the scoring at 9-1 Final.
A miserable night for Yakult indeed. Their four hits for the night came from Fukuchi (2), Aikawa and late pinch hitter Hatakeyama. Yokohama managed twelve.
Both starter’s records were evened at 1-1 for the season, with Yoshinori’s ERA balooning to 6.96, and Miura’s shrinking to 3.00
The only bright spark for Tokyo came in the shape of the two hitless innings of relief from the promising Maruyama.
The two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon for the second game of the series. Hopefully the outcome will be different so I don’t have to hear that god-awful song again. Ever.