July 19th, 2011
Yokohama BayStars 3
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLDW
Tokyo returned to winnings ways in Yokohama as Balentien re-discovered his mojo in a major way.
- Aoki (CF)
- Tanaka (2B)
- Whitesell (1B)
- Hatakeyama (LF)
- Balentien (RF)
- Miyamoto (3B)
- Kawabata (SS)
- Aikawa (C)
- Tateyama (P)
- Ishikawa (SS)
- Shimozono (LF)
- Harper (1B)
- Murata (3B)
- Kinjo (CF)
- Yoshimura (RF)
- Watanabe (2B)
- Hosoyamada (C)
- Takasaki (P)
Tateyama got himself a decent lead before even throwing a pitch. In the top of the 1st, a one-out single from Tanaka and a Whitesell double off the wall in left made it 1-0. Hatakeyama then singled to put men on the corners for Balentien and he hit one up the middle to make it 2-0. An infield hit followed for Miyamoto to load the bases, but neither Kawabata (groundout to pitcher) or Aikawa (flyout to right) could pull the trigger to get Tateyama a bigger cushion.
Both the Swallows and Baystars would continue to strand plenty of base-runners until Yokohama halved the lead in the 4th. Murata hit a double and a Yoshimura sacfly one out later made it 2-1.
But the game would take a decisive swing in favour of Tokyo in the top of the 5th. With no outs on the board Whitesell was hit to occupy first before Hatakeyama singled to put two men on. Balentien then stepped up and hit one over the wall, just to the left of the scoreboard and it was 5-1 Tokyo. It was Balentien’s 18th homer of the year, and his first since July 1st, as he continues to occupy top place in the CL home run rankings.
Two hits for Yokohama in the 5th were good enough to make it 5-2.
And it was 6-2 in the 7th, again via a Balentien long ball, this time off reliever Fujie to straight away centre for no.19.
Tateyama gave up another two hits in the 7th, but Murata, 3 for 3 with two doubles to that point, struck out to strand men on the corners and leave the Tokyo lead at four.
That was it for Tateyama, as Barnette (0.84!!) came in to work a hitless two strikeout 8th.
Lim (2.34) came in for the 9th, and a strikeout, a double for Inada, a wild pitch allowing the runner to make third, a run scoring Ishikawa groundout to first and a Shimozono strikeout was the way it went as the Swallows secured a 6-3 Tokyo Final.
Tateyama (7IP/8H/8K/1BB/2ER) took the win and saw his record improve to 8-1/1.56. After the 1st inning, he was presented with a bunch of flowers to signify him reaching the 1000 innings mark in his career so far.
Tokyo outhit their opposition 16-9 with every starting member (including Tateyama) registering at least a hit.
Balentien’s 4 for 5, 2 HR, 5 RBI performance was the obvious stand out, as the gentle giant repaid the faith shown in him by the management during his recent lean spell. In his hero interview he said that he used Aikawa’s bat a bit in practice, liked the feel of it an gave it a go in his first at bat of the evening. After it proved successful (RBI single) he used it for his next AB (single) and the next (3R HR) and the next (solo HR). Asked if he would continue to use it he said that Aikawa may get angry with him so probably not.
Kawabata left the game after the 3rd inning (he foulded a ball off his ankle) and was replaced by Fujimoto at short. The ex-Hanshin man didn’t cover himself in glory as he went 0 for 3 with the bat as well as making two errors in the field (de ja vu). Thankfully neither of the errors ended up costing the team, or Tateyama, any runs.
With Chunichi narrowly losing to Yomiuri this evening Tokyo’s lead atop the CL is extended to 7.5 games.
Weather permitting, the two teams will meet again tomorrow evening for the last game before the all star break. Tokyo lead the season series 7-2 (with two draws).