June 18th, 2011
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWWLW
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The Swallows took advantage of a shaky Watanabe in the rain to win their only Interleague series.
|1||CF Okada||1||CF Aoki|
|2||RF Ishimine||2||2B Tanaka|
|3||2B Iguchi||3||1B Whitesell|
|4||LF Omatsu||4||LF Hatakeyama|
|5||3B Imae||5||RF Balentien|
|6||1B Fukuura||6||3B Miyamoto|
|7||SS Kobayashi||7||SS Fujimoto|
|8||C Matoba||8||C Aikawa|
|9||P Watanabe||9||P Tateyama|
Tateyama got the start today and looked comfortable throughout. Even when he let runners get on base he managed to calmly and confidently get out of the jams. On the flip side submariner Watanabe had trouble locating his pitches and frequently got behind Swallows’ batters.
Watanabe managed to escape a 2-out men on the corners situation in the first inning, but wasn’t so lucky in the second inning. The inning began with a Miyamoto single to right. After falling behind to Fujimoto 3-1, Watanabe managed to get a fielder’s choice grounder to second to get one out. But Aikawa lined the first pitch he saw into left field to put two men on with 1 out. Tateyama was called on to bunt but popped up weakly to the catcher for out number 2. Aoki came up and just watched Watanabe throw junk outside the zone, and got a walk in only 5 pitches. So with 2 out and the bases loaded, Tuesday’s hero Tanaka came to the plate. Hiroyasu did not disappoint the home faithful as he got solid contact and split the gap in left field to get himself a bases clearing double. 3-0 Swallows
Staked with a early lead, pitched comfortably even as he allowed back-to-back singles in the fourth. Even with multiple base runners it never felt like the game was getting away from him. The Swallows also squandered a few chances, but as the rain began to fall after the third inning, there was a feeling in the outfield stands to get to the fifth inning quickly to make the game official. That being said, the rain never stopped play and didn’t seem to play a big factor for either team.
The Swallows biggest test came in the ninth when Tateyama gave up back-to-back singles to Ishimine and Iguchi to start the ninth inning. Tatyama battled Omatsu for 5 pitches in which Omatsu fouled off 4 pitches, before he got Omatsu to strikeout swinging on pitch number 6. With 1 out and 2 on, and the rain falling harder, the Swallows decided to call on Lim to close out the win for Tateyama. Lim did his job wonderfully, getting Imae to pop out to the infield before striking out Fukuura to end the game.
Tateyama got his 6th win of the season for his 129 pitch outing in which he allowed no walks, 7 hits and got 7 strikeouts in 8 and 1/3 innings. Tateyama’s ERA fell to 1.26 for the season, which now leads the Central League. Lim earned his 14th save of the season which puts him in a tie for the CL lead with Yokohama’s Yamaguchi.
It wasn’t all good news for the Swallows, however, as Fukuchi dislocated his left shoulder attempting to steal second in the seventh inning. He was taken off the field in a stretcher, and it is not yet clear if he will miss any games.