6/11/12 – Saitama (Home)

June 11th, 2012

Saitama Seibu Lions 5

Tokyo Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 2    Last 5: LWWLL

(Jingu Stadium)

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Tokyo0001 00000131
W: Kishi (6-5; 1.68 ERA) L: Ishikawa (4-6; 3.39 ERA)

Can someone please find the emergency stop button? Because I WANT TO GET OFF THIS SODDING INTER-LEAGUE TRAIN. Seriously. I believe it’s red and is sometimes behind glass. If you see it, do our collective mental health a favour and push it. Then we can all return to a dreamy world filled with star-shaped bays, nice red fish and incestuous big cats.

Aaaaaaaah, BayStars………….you sweet sweet BayStars…………..

SaitamaOrderTokyo
Kataoka (2B)1Milledge (CF)
Kuriyama (LF)2Tanaka (2B)
Nakajima (SS)3Kawabata (SS)
Nakamura (1B)4Hatakeyama (1B)
Helman (3B)5Balentien (RF)
Akiyama (CF)6Miyamoto (3B)
Kumashiro (RF)7Matsui (LF)
Sumitani (C)8Aikawa (C)
Kishi (P)9Ishikawa (P)

Ishikawa started and was not good, getting himself into a pickle as he gave up a first-pitch double to Kataoka to lead off the game. After the runner was bunted to third for out number one, only a superb snag of a line drive to left by Miyamoto and a flyout to centre from Nakamura kept the scores tied at zero.

Kishi on the other hand, was excellent throughout (though the Tokyo bats can tend to make a pitcher look that way) and thus it was the Lions who inevitably took  the lead in the 3rd. As has been the case FAR TOO OFTEN in this month of Inter-League hell, another (remember they use the DH) Pacific League pitcher registered a hit against us, with Kishi hitting a single to centre, which was stretched to two bases on an error from Milledge (the ball bounced off his glove while trying to snag the ball on the hop). Again the runner was bunted along and Seibu once again had the go-ahead runner at third with just the one out on the board. And it looked like Ishikawa may well escape unscathed once more as Kuriyama grounded out to second for out number two, with Kishi being held at third.

Another night to forget for Ishikawa and the Swallows

But then Ishikawa had to get his Masubuchi on as he, with a full count on the board against Nakajima, threw ball number four in the dirt, which bounced up out of the grasp of Aikawa and rolled toward the backstop, scoring Kishi from third on the wild pitch for 1-0 Saitama.

Nakajima then proceeded to steal second before being brought home by a single to centre from the god of chub himself, Nakamura, for 2-0 Saitama which would be the last of the scoring for the inning.

Tokyo would halve that lead in the 4th with a whole heap of help from the opposition. Kishi issued his first walk of the game to Milledge to get the inning started, before a Tanaka fly-out and a Kawabata groundout (with the out being made at second) lit two red lights. Hatake then registered Tokyo’s first hit of the night with a single through Kishi’s legs and up the middle to put men on first and second. Next man up Balentien proceeded to club a flyball to left, but a running Kuriyama made a fluff of the catch attempt, spilling it and allowing Kawabata to score from second and both runners to move into scoring positions on the error, 2-1. And in scoring positions those runners would remain as Miyamoto grounded out to short to end the inning.

Ishikawa kept things under relative control over the 4th and 5th frames, despite giving up a hit and a walk in the 5th, before Saitama extended their lead in the 6th. Two singles to right added another run for 3-1 before Ishikawa gave up his third hit of the inning (Kishi. Again.) to put men on the corners with one out. Oshimoto was then summoned from the pen and he proceeded to add the cherry atop of the shit-cake by giving up two runs (both charged to Ishikawa) off two hits for 5-1 Saitama. He did strike out Helman with the bases loaded to escape the inning but the damage was done.

And that folks, was just about that. The Swallows “threatened” again in the 7th, as Matsui came to the plate with men on first and second (Balentien again reaching base on an error plus a single for Miyamoto) with one out, but he grounded into an inning ending double play. And in the 9th Balentien got on base, when what should have been a game ending flyout to shallow centre ended up with him standing at second after reaching base for the third time, all via Seibu errors (he was 0 for 4 for the night). But it mattered not as Miyamoto struck out swinging to end it for a 5-1 Saitama Final.

Pitching

  • Ishikawa was tagged with the loss after his sub-standard 5.1IP / 9H / 2K / 2BB / 5R / 4ER display. Maybe him almost taking me out on his wee-lickle bicycle after the rain-out on Saturday affected him. My striking looks often do that to folks. Or maybe I just scared the shit out of him.
  • Shoda pitched scoreless 7th and 8th innings after Oshiomoto’s cherry-application in the 6th, though he was aided by an unassisted double play at first in the 7th. He struck out three over his two innings.
  • Yamamoto worked a hitless 2K 9th and his ERA is at 1.50.

“Batting”

  • Kishi dominated, allowing just the three hits and one unearned run over his eight innings. Hatake, Miyamoto and Aikawa (8th inning single) were the sole offensive force for the evening.

Further Notes

  • Tokyo lost the season series against Saitama 4-0. In those four games they were outscored 27-3 and outhit 49-17. Brilliant. All this against the currently 23-28 Lions.
  • Aside from Seibu fans, the only other happy people this evening were the workers of the mental health institutes of Saitama, who all got a night off as their patients all made the trip to the Jingu left-field bleachers.
  • Tonight was Miyamoto’s 2000th career game, and he received what must be around his 2000th bunch of flowers of the season to honour it.
  • This loss means that the Swallows will have a losing record come the end of the Inter-League games for the third straight season.
  • Tokyo will now get a day off before travelling to Sendai to take on Rakuten from Wednesday.

The only positive thing from this evening

 

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • LondonCalling

    Hi, nice report, any chance of posting the 2012 season results/schedule (brings up 2011 when you click on the link) and an interleague table? Can’t find the latter anywhere on the net..

    • Done. Sorry for the delay there. I’ll put up a schedule list soon.