April 17th, 2010
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLLWL
This was a game that was closely contested for six innings, but ultimately things got away from Tokyo in a costly 7th as they were soundly beaten by Yomiuri in a “home” game in Shikoku.
The starting lineup saw one change from the previous game, with Aikawa returning behind the plate:
- Aoki (CF)
- Tanaka (2B)
- Ihara (LF)
- Guiel (RF)
- Miyamoto (3B)
- D’Antona (1B)
- Fujimoto (SS)
- Aikawa (C)
- Yoshinori (P)
Yoshinori started for the birds, and kept the Yomiuri bats in check early on, no-hitting them over the first four innings, striking out 5 with 2 walks. Yakult’s best attempt to get Yoshinori a lead came in the 1st, with walks for Tanaka and Guiel putting men on first and second with two outs. Miyamoto then hit to shallow right, but Tanaka was inexplicably waved home by third base coach (and Tsubamegun favourite) Shiroishi with the ball beating Tanaka to home plate by a good two metres with catcher Abe applying the easiest tag of all time for the third out. So instead of D’Antona coming to the plate with the bases loaded, the inning was over. Thanks Shiroishi, still as competent a coach as you were a player then.
Our esteemed neighbours would take the lead the top of the 5th, a double from Chono who was later brought home with a Wakiya sac fly, 1-0 Yomiuri.
But the Swallows tied things up against Giants starter Tohno in the bottom of the same inning. Aikawa got on with a lead off single, and was brought home two outs later with a double from the hot bat of Hiroyasu Tanaka to tie things up at 1-1.
But that would be the last hit that Tokyo would manage in the game. Yomiuri pulled ahead for good in the 7th after Abe got on base via a Miyamoto error at third, with 4 runs off 4 hits to follow for the Giants , one of those runs coming from a bases loaded wild pitch from Yoshinori, and the game was beyond the Swallows at 5-1 Yomiuri.
Nakazawa, now seemingly no longer required as a starter, pitched the 8th and 9th in relief of Yoshinori and gave up an unearned run (after an error off shortstop Morioka who’d entered the game in the double switch in which Nakazawa into the game) in the 9th to make it 6-1 Yomiuri Final.
Yoshinori took the loss to put his record at 1-2/6.26 for the season. He did strike out 9 in his 7 innings, but the 4 walks and costly wild pitch showed that his control issue are still an issue with the 20 year old.
Tokyo were outhit 8-5, with Tanaka (.351) and Miyamoto (.270) having two-hit games, with Aikawa (.172) the only other successful hitter. Aoki (.365), Ihara (.290), Guiel (.242), D’Antona (.288) and Fujimoto (.245) were all hitless, D’Antona going 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts for not the first time this season. Jamie is now leading the CL with 26 Ks for the year.
The two teams will play the final game of the two game series tomorrow afternoon.