October 12th, 2009
Yomiuri Giants 3
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5
Streak: Won 6 Last 5: WWWWW
The Swallows closed out their regular season with a come from behind win against the Giants, ending their terrible run of losses against Yomuri. Not that this game meant too much really.
Tokyo was as thus:
- Noguchi (LF)
- Shida (CF)
- Hatakeyama (3B)
- D’Antona (1B)
- Guiel (RF)
- Kawamoto (C)
- Yoshimoto (2B)
- Onizaki (SS)
- Yoshinori (P)
Again Takada chose to rest most of his regulars for this meaningless game, with Guiel and D’Antona the notable exceptions.
The game itself was a relatively low key affair. Tokyo took the lead off Giants starter Utsumi in the bottom of the 1st, D’Antona bringing home Shida on a groundout for 1-0 Tokyo.
The game was tied in the 2nd courtesy of a piggy-boy Abe homer run for 1-1.
Yomiuri then took the lead in the 3rd. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Ogasawara, and he hit a grounder to first, with D’Antona fluffing the throw to the covering Yoshinori, which allowed two runs to score and it was 3-1 Yomiuri.
Tokyo made it 3-2 in the 4th via Guiel’s 27th homer of the year.
And in the 8th the Swallows came back to take the decisive lead. A one-out Shiroishi (in for his last game before retirement) double was followed by a walk for D’Antona. After Yuichi flew out for out number two, pinch hitter Kinugawa sinled to bring home one run before Yoshimoto doubled to bring home two and it was 5-3 Tokyo.
And that was about that.
Yoshinori finished with a no-decision to show for his 6 inning, 5 hit, 3 run (2 earned), 7 K and 2 BB performance as his 2009 record ended up at 5-10/3.50.
Hanada, who was also retiring, pitched for one out in the 7th, and got a groundout. It was only his third appearance of the year.
Takagi took the win for his 1 and 2/3 innings of work after Hanada, and his record finishes at 4-0/1.64. He was one of the few bright spots in the latter half of the year and should have a role to play if we make it past Nagoya and to the Climax Second Stage.
Lee worked a hitless 9th with his record finishing at 1-1/3.65 in his 43 appearances this year.
The loss meant that the Giants failed to register 90 wins (which would have been for the first time in over 40 years if they had managed to win tonight), plus Ustumi failed to win his 10th game of the year, which stopped his streak of years with 10 or more wins at three.
The season series ended at 18-5-1 in the Giants’ favour.
After the game, Takada gave a speech. I booed, people told me to be quiet (f*ck them). People cheered Takada, I booed again (f*ck them).
Shiroishi and Hanada had their retirement ceremonies. Nothing too special there and unlike last year (with the likes of Manaka retiring) there were few tears shed.
So Tokyo end up with a 71-72-1/.497 record. They finished 10 games behind the 2nd placed Dragons and 22 behind the Giants. However, they finished 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers which means they’ll be going to Nagoya for a best of three game series against Chunichi starting next Saturday.