6/3/12 – Fukuoka (Away)

June 3rd, 2012

Tokyo Swallows 5

Fukuoka Hawks 1

Streak: Won 3   Last 5: LLWWW

(Fukuoka Dome)

The winning ways continue as the Tokyo birds beat the Fukuoka birds to sweep the defending champs away and take the interleague series 3-1.

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Tokyo000040100591
Fukuoka100000000152
W: Tateyama (4-4; 2.31 ERA) L: Iwasaki (3-6; 4.02 ERS)

Tateyama came through with a strong eight innings, and the offense made good on a number of chances with Milledge and Hatakeyama leading the way.

TokyoOrderFukuoka
Milledge (CF)1Akaishi (SS)
Noguchi (LF)2Honda (2B)
Kawabata (DH)3Uchikawa (LF)
Hatakeyama (1B)4Matsuda (3B)
Iihara (RF)5Pena (DH)
Miyamoto (3B)6Matsunaka (1B)
Aikawa (C)7Tamura (RF)
Tanaka (2B)8Hasegawa (CF)
Morioka (SS)9Hosokawa (C)

Fukuoka scored first in the bottom of the opening frame care of Matsuda’s two-out double which scored Honda from second.

0-1 Hawks.

Tokyo starter, Tateyama, was able to keep things locked down from that point forward despite a couple of scares. He finally got some run support in the fifth inning.

Tanaka drew a five-pitch walk off of Fukuoka starter, Iwasaki, and he found himself on third thanks to Morioka’s fake-bunt-slap-hit into right to put

First inning excitement. After that it was relatively smooth sailing.

runners on the corners.

Milledge then drove a full-count fork ball deep enough to center to allow Tanaka to tie the game from third.

1-1.

But that wasn’t it. The big inning materialized when Noguchi singled with one out to move Morioka over to second, and then Hatakeyama pulled a 2-1 hanging slider into the bleachers just above the left field wall.

4-1 Tokyo.

And that was pretty much it.

Fukuoka only managed two more hits and a walk during their final five turns at the plate, and Tateyama ended up pitching eight innings of five-hit, one-run baseball.

However, Tokyo did add one more the the tally in the seventh.

Milledge started things off by smacking the first pitch he saw from reliever Ohba into right field. And after eventually working his way over to third, Hatakeyama delivered with a two-out double to the gap between center and right.

5-1 Final.

Pitching

Tateyama leveled his record with his fourth win of the season today. He threw 124 pitches over eight innings of work and scattered five hits. He struck out five, walked four, and gave up a single run in his first win since April 30th (Hiroshima).

Lim pitched a perfect ninth in a non-save situation. He faced three batters and threw 10 pitches. He has three appearances so far this season and has yet to give up a run.

Hitting

Hatakeyama was huge in more ways than one tonight. Batting cleanup, Fludge notched four RBI while clubbing his third homer of the season (three RBI), a single, and an RBI double.

Milledge was the other standout at the plate. He hit two singles to right, one single to left, a sac fly to center, and added a walk in the third just for good measure. He also crossed home plate once (seventh inning).

Noguchi chipped in with a pair of singles while Tanaka found his way on base twice thanks to a walk and an HBP.

Notes:

After this afternoon’s game, Milledge has overtaken Miyamoto for the team lead in batting average (.263 to .260).

Milledge also now leads the team in total bases (80).

Tateyama now leads the team with a .500 winning percentage (starting pitchers).

Tokyo now head to Kyocera Dome for a Tuesday-Wednesday series against Orix. Both games begin at 6PM.

The Swallows are back to .500 baseball with a 23-23-3 record. Thanks to Hanshin’s 7-3 loss to Hokkaido this afternoon, Tokyo is back in sole possession of third place in the Central League, four games behind Yomiuri. Hanshin are one game behind the Swallows in fourth place.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini