September 8th, 2009
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3
Streak: Lost 3 Last : WDLLL
Well it doesn’t rain, it pours. And for the Swallows at the moment it’s raining a consistent shower of piss. Today the Swallows arguably did enough to win the game. No make that should of won the game. But a couple of terrible decisions from the umpires would prove fatal for Tokyo. But such is the way when your luck has done a runner to god knows where.
Today’s lineup saw Guiel recover from his cold to take his place in rightfield, though knowing Takada he was probably only back because of the right-handedness of Hiroshima starter Maeda. Morioka also came in at short to replace Keizo, who is obviously doing some time on the bench as a result of his costly (to say the least) error in Sunday’s loss to the Giants.
- Fukuchi (LF)
- Tanaka (2B)
- Aoki (CF)
- D’Antona (1B)
- Guiel (RF)
- Miyamoto (3B)
- Morioka (SS)
- Aikawa (C)
- Tateyama (P)
Tokyo put a run on the board against Maeda in each of the first three innings.
In the 1st, after Fukuchi had struck out for out number one, Tanaka hit a flyball to right. Fortunately for him, the Carp centre and right fielders Amaya and Hirose collided while both going for the catch, and Tanaka had himself a triple. The in-form Aoki then singled to centre and it was 1-0 Tokyo. A D’Antona strikeout and a Guiel flyout would end the inning.
In the 2nd, Morioka hit a one out solo homer to loft that just about stayed fair and it was 2-0.
And in the 3rd, a Fukuchi single, a Tanaka Tak-bunt for the first out and an Aoki infield single put men on the corners for D’Antona. He then did what he’s done so well this year, hitting a single over the head of the infield to right to bring home the run and it was 3-0 Tokyo. Next man up Guiel then ended the chance for more runs as he hit the ball straight back to the pitcher for an inning-ending double play.
Tateyama allowed men in scoring positions in the 1st, 3rd and 4th innings but he, as is often his way, managed to get out of each jam unscathed. In the 5th however he fell victim to the long ball. After issuing a one-out walk to Phillips, Kenta Kurihara hit a two-run shot to right (his 2oth of the year) and the Carp were right back in it at 3-2.
In the 8th, Phillips worked another walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Kimura. After a groundout and a flyout veteran Takuro Ishii took to the plate as a pinch-hitter with the runner on second. With the count at 2-2 Tateyama threw what appeared to be the inning ending strike three, upper inside corner, (both Aikawa and Tateyama started to walk from the field it was so obviously a strike) but the umpire thought it was too high and called ball three. And you know what’s coming next. Yes, after fouling off the next pitch Ishii hit a liner to right. Guiel took it on the bounce and rifled one to home as the runner made the turn, the ball arrived early enough for Aikawa to catch the ball and apply the tag. Only the ball bounced up and hit the catcher in the throat, it bounced away and Kimura was safely home for 3-3.
After another single Tateyama was gone and Lee appeared in his place to get the final out of the inning.
Tatayama finished his 7 and 2/3 innings having given up three runs off eight hits, striking out a whopping nine and walking four for the no decision. His record remains at 14-4 with his ERA remaining at 3.44. He still leads the CL in wins.
Matsuoka came in for the top of the 9th in a double-switch with Takeuchi replacing D’Antona at first. He gave up a leadoff single but a Phillips double play removed the runner. Kurihara then walked before Kimura came to the plate. He hit a grounder to short, which was fielded by Morioka who threw to Takeuchi at first, with the ball clearly beating the runner to the bag. Not by much but clearly. The first base umpire (obviously blinded by the piss falling from the sky) inexplicably called the runner safe. Takada protested the call for some time, but to (obviously) no avail.
And wouldn’t you know it, next man up Ishihara hit a three-run shot to left and it was 6-3 Hiroshima. With that shit started to fall from the sky above Jingu (okay, I’ll stop that theme right there…….sorry. But you get my point). If I was Takada I would have began chucking obscenities, and possibly the seats from the dugout at the first base ump at that point, but he just sat there looking mildly annoyed.
In came closer Nagakawa for the 9th, and though he gave up a hit with the runner eventually getting to third, he did his job and it was 6-3 Hiroshima Final.
Matsuoka took the loss as his record moved to 5-2/3.81.
With the bat, Aoki (.284) went 3 for 4 with an RBI, as did Morioka (.250) who will have given Takada/Keizo a lot to think about with his performance. D’Antona (.287) went 1 for 4 with his RBI while Guiel (.259) went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
The two teams return tomorrow evening by which time the Swallows’ luck will hopefully have found it’s way back from wherever the f*ck it’s ran off to.