May 20th, 2012
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1
Streak: Lost 2 Last 5: LWLLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
The run production woes continue.
|W: Hirano (3-1, 2.52 ERA) L: Tateyama (3-3, 2.36 ERA)|
What do you need to know? After Wednesday’s blowout victory over 2011 Japan Series champion Fukuoka, the birds are a bit constipated run-wise.
|Fukuchi (LF)||1||Moriyama (CF)|
|Tanaka (2B)||2||Nonaka (LF)|
|Milledge (CF)||3||Ohbiki (SS)|
|Balentien (RF)||4||Lee (1B)|
|Hatakeyama (1B)||5||Gotoh (2B)|
|Miyamoto (3B)||6||Baldiris (3B)|
|Aikawa (C)||7||Kawabata (RF)|
|Morioka (SS)||8||Suzuki (C)|
|Tateyama (P)||9||Nishi (P)|
Tokyo got off on the wrong foot in the top of the second when a 1-2 Tateyama offering (maybe a forkball?) headed straight down the middle and Baldiris clubbed it into the stands in left for the first run of the game.
Tanaka then led off with a single in the bottom of the fourth, and was pushed over to third thanks to two beanballs (Balentien and Miyamoto receiving). Aikawa came through with a clutch walk that forced Tanaka home, but Morioka was once again unable to do anything productive at the plate with the bases loaded.
And that was basically
it on offense for the birds.
Orix scored again in the top of the fifth. It was only one run, but it was more than enough.
Tokyo loaded the bases once again in the sixth, but Fujimoto took Morioka’s place as the goat this time.
Orix put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth with Oshimoto on the mound. A leadoff walk was followed by Lee’s second home run in as many games.
Tateyama took the loss on seven innings (98 NP), three hits (1 HR), three strikeouts, one walk (2 HBP), and two runs allowed (both earned). His record is now 3-3 with a 2.36 ERA.
Hidaka pitched a scoreless eighth, but Oshimoto allowed two more runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach. Hidaka now sports a 0.60 ERA through 18 appearances, and Oshimoto is now up to 2.12 on the ERA meter in as many appearances.
Hatakeyama and Aikawa had two-hit games. Other than that, there wasn’t anything to write home about. Balentien earns two hat tips for an HBP and BB.
Tsubamegun, meet Offensive Slump. Offensive Slump, Tsubamegun.
Morioka, as great as he is both as a player and a teammate, is 0-3 in bases-loaded situations over the last two days.
Fujimoto pinch hit for Morioka on both Saturday and Sunday in important situations. We can only imagine what that is doing to Morioka’s head. Not good, no matter how you look at it.
Tokyo outhit Orix 6-4, but your birds weren’t able to hit when it mattered. Same story three games in a row.
Milledge was back in center field tonight. He had an easy night as only one of Orix’s four hits came near him.
How we lost this game is beyond me.
Now that Tanaka is no longer on bunt duty, the Tsubamegun faithful are strenuously looking forward to the days, weeks, and months when he’s a consistent threat at the plate (in addition to his thus far gold glove performance in the field).
Your Tokyo Swallows will be in Chiba on Tuesday and Wednesday for a two-game set against the Pacific League’s leading team. Both games start at 6:15PM.