July 10th, 2012
Tokyo Swallows 1
Streak: Lost 3 Last 5: WWLLL
(Meiji Jingu Stadium)
|W: Fujii (4-2 / 2.68 ERA) L: Roman (4-7 / 3.21)|
After their blistering start to the month of July (and indeed pretty much since interleague concluded) Tokyo had a chance to prove this last lacklustre weekend in Hiroshima was a mere anomaly. Unfortunately they could not convince as they were pretty comprehensively beaten by the Baystars.
|Ishikawa (2B)||1||Milledge (CF)|
|Aranami (CF)||2||Tanaka (2B)|
|Nakamura (3B)||3||Miyade (LF)|
|Ramirez (LF)||4||Hatakeyama (3B)|
|Tsutsugoh (RF)||5||Balentien (RF)|
|Ruiz (1B)||6||Miyamoto (3B)|
|Kajitani (SS)||7||Aikawa (C)|
|Tsuruoka (C)||8||Morioka (SS)|
|Fujii (P)||9||Roman (P)|
Unlike Balentien, Orlando Roman’s spell on the farm in June (which was to allow Lim to rejoin the top team and subsequently end his season and most probably his Swallows career through injury) does not seem to have had a positive effect. In his first game back against Hanshin he was poor, giving up five runs over the same number of innings, and tonight he absolutely laboured through 5 and 2/3 innings of work. And against a stronger lineup than the Baystars have to offer, he would likely have given up more runs than the three he was responsible for tonight.
Struggling with his control from the off, Roman let at least one man into scoring position in every one of his innings. In the top of the 1st, he took seven pitches to strike out Ishikawa and then a ten to induce a groundout from Aranami. He then issued the first of what would be seven walks for the evening to Nakamura before our old friend Ramirez hit a double to the wall in left to score Nori from first and it was 1-0 Yokohama. Hid did get Tsusugoh to ground out to end the inning, but the 32 pitches taken to get out of the inning did not bode well for the evening.
Tokyo drew level with what would turn out to be their only run of the game in the bottom of the inning. Facing another Swallows’ old boy in Baystars starter Shugo Fujii, Milledge hit into the no-mans’s land just inside of the foul line in right for a double. A Tak-bunt from Tanaka then followed and Lastings was at third, and that bunt was exposed for it’s pointlessness as Miyade hit one of the wall in right to score the tying run for 1-1.
And from then on it was all Yokohama scoring-wise. In the 5th, an Aranami double, two walks to load the bases and a wild pitch added a run for 2-1 Yokohama. In the 6th, another two walks from Roman and a timely chip up the middle from Nakamura (off Yamamoto) extended the lead to 3-1. And the exclamation mark was added in the 8th with Hidaka on the mound, a single, a walk, and a three run shot to left from Morimoto (the first HR allowed by Hidaka in his team-high 36th pitching appearance of the year) capping the scoring for a 6-1 Yokohama Final.
- Roman took the loss for his 5.2 IP / 121 P / 5 H / 4 K / 7 BB / 1 BK / 3ER shift. That “demotion” to the farm back when he was one of, if not the most consistent starter on the team at the time is not looking so hot an idea now eh?
- Shoda and Fernandes pitched scoreless 7th and 9th innings respectively.
- Tanaka and Miyamoto were the only other Swallows to hit after that 1st inning.
- In the 2nd, a Nakamura error allowed Aikawa to reach second with one out, but a Morioka groundout and a strikeout for Roman left him there.
- Tokyo did have one other chance to get back in it in the 6th. A one-out single from Tanaka and a walk for the pinch-hitting Matsui put two men on for Hatake. But he could only ground out to short for an inning ending double play. As somewhat of an aside, how Hatake has maintained his no.4 cleanup slot all this time is a mystery to me. He is a true overachiever for our times.
- Balentien struck out twice as he went 0 for 3 with a walk.
- 13552 folks turned out to watch Yokohama even the season series at 4-4.
- Tokyo’s quest for a decent start from a pitcher not named Ishikawa or Tateyama continues tomorrow. The starters will be Akagawa for the Swallows with, gulp, Miura on the mound for the Baystars.