August 29th, 2009
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3
Streak: Lost 4 Last 5: WLLLL
Yoshinori lasted eight innings, and the game went an extra frame before it was decided, but in the end it was another game for the ‘Loss’ column.
Tokyo struck first blood on a Guiel solo home run in the second (his 21st of the year) to put the birds up 1-0.
But Guiel’s error in right helped fuel a Chunichi resurgence in the fourth that saw three runs go up on the board. Yoshinori conceded three walks and another three rbi singles in that inning and the result was a 3-1 scoreline in favor of the Dragons. All three of the runs were scored after Guiel’s error, so Yoshinori’s ERA remained untouched.
The birds got one back in the bottom of the fifth when Hatakeyama led things off with a solo shot to center field. 3-2 Dragons.
And with Iwase again on the mound for the Dragons, this time trying to protect a one run lead in the bottom of the night, the birds were able to claw one run out of him and snatch away his save chance. A Fukuchi triple was followed by an Aoki sac fly to center to tie it up at three all.
Also of note in the bottom of the ninth was that D’Antona made his first plate appearance, pinch hitting for Guiel, since his hamstring injury a little over two weeks ago. D’Antona struck out for out number two, but it’s good to have him back just the same. Anyway, it was on to extra innings after Miyamoto grounded out to short.
Unfortunately for the home team, Chunichi was also able to do some damage to their rival’s closer. With Lim on the mound in the top of the tenth, Blanco homered to left for the go-ahead run, and Lim ended up surrendering one more on a wild pitch for a final score of 5-3 Chunichi.
Yoshinori had the longest start of his career (eight innings, 119 pitches) and also contributed a career-worst six walks. His control was atrocious in the fourth inning, but he looked a lot sharper from the fifth inning on. His record remained at 5-7 while his ERA improved to a very respectable 3.27.
Igarashi (2.83) was brought in to record a single out in the ninth, and I believe that the appearance was the 500th of his career.
Oshimoto finished up the ninth and was able to keep anyone from scoring. His ERA has slowly become more stable in the mid-two region (2.63), and that is a definite plus going forward for Tokyo.
Lim took the loss in his 50th appearance of 2009. His record is now 5-3-25 with a 1.62 ERA.
On offense, nobody reached base more than once as Chunichi’s pitching staff limited the Tokyo bats to only seven hits.
Game three, weather permitting, is scheduled for 6 pm tomorrow night.