May 31st 2013, @ Saitama

May 31st, 2013

Tokyo Swallows 1Lions

Saitama Seibu Lions 4

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WLLWL

(Seibu Dome)

The Swallows bad fortunes continue at Seibu Dome.

After battling all night, the Swallows gave this one away in the bottom of the ninth.

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W: Sarafate (3-0) L: Barnette (0-2)

Tokyo Seibu
Yamada (2B)1Akiyama (CF)
Morioka (SS)2Kataoka (2B)
Iwamura (3B)3Kuriyama (LF)
Balentien (RF)4Asamura (1B)
Hatakeyama (1B)5German (3B)
Milledge (LF)6Spilborghs (DH)
Niita (DH)7Yamasaki (SS)
Takeuchi (CF)8Sumitani (C)
Aikawa (C)9Kumashiro (RF)
Ishikawa PMakita

Tonight was a pitchers duel for 7 and a half innings. Makita had a no-hitter going until the 6th inning when Aikawa finally snuck on base. Ishikawa, on the other hand, seemed to want runners on base before getting out of every inning (up to the 8th). He allowed 8 hits by the time the 7th inning drew to a close. Both pitchers went about it differently but the end result was the same after 7 innings, 0-0.

We will pick up the action in the 8th.

In the Swallows half of the inning, Yuichi reached base on a single and was quickly replaced by Hiyane. Takeuchi would sac bunt Hiyane to 2nd for the 1st out of the inning. Aikawa then walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Miyamoto then came to the plate in place of Yamada. For whatever reason, the Swallows coaching staff decided to try a double steal during Miyamoto’s at-bat. Sumitani (Seibu’s catcher) knew that the slower runner was Aikawa and easily threw him out at second for out number 2. WHY DO THIS? Makes absolutely no sense. If you were going to do a double-steal, maybe try it with two slightly agile players. Aikawa is just back from injury and is probably not in the best of shape. To add insult to injury, Miyamoto would ground out to the pitcher for the third out with Hiyane not crossing home plate. Still 0-0

In the Lions half of the 8th, the hero of the game would make everyone in Saitama white jump for joy. Asamura would hit a solo-shot to lead off the inning. 1 – 0 Saitama

The Lions would get another hit in the inning but no further damage would be done.

On to the 9th inning. Sarafate was on the hill to try and shut-out the Birds. Morioka would strike out to start the inning but reached first on a wild-pitch 3rd strike. Iwamura and Coco would also go down on strikeouts. The only positive of Coco’s at bat was that Morioka would advance to second on the third strike. That meant Boo was up to bat and the game on the line. On a 3-1 pitch he tied the game up with a double to left-center. 1 – 1

Boo ties the game!!

Boo ties the game!!

Milledge would be intentionally walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd and two outs. Hiyane was up next. He hits a short liner to center. Boo stops at 3rd but Milledge doesn’t stop at 2nd. He continues on to 3rd before realizing that was a mistake. Akiyama’s throw home is cut-off and a couple of run-downs ensue. Boo is eventually tagged out for out number 3.

Barnette comes in to pitch the ninth inning. After getting Osaki out, he gives up a double to Akiyama. Kataoka is out number 2. Ogawa then sends the message to Aikawa to intentionally walk Kuriyama.

This was a decision I initially questioned. Kuriyama was 2-4 at that point but Asamura, the next batter, just hit a HR in his previous at-bat. Tough call. I think I would have challenged Kuriyama. Of course what I think really means nothing as I pay to watch the Swallows play rather than get paid to do so. (btw, sometimes I wonder why I do pay for this misery)

My boring sidebar is no over. We move back to the Asamura at-bat. He decided to go yard AGAIN! And for shits and giggles, decided to rub it in Ogawa’s face by glaring a little bit longer at the Swallows bench.  4 – 1 Saitama (FINAL)

Asamura goes yard.

Asamura goes yard.

Game Notes:

  • 15,300 fans were in attendance for this one.
  • Swallows fhawkin suck in Seibu land. They have now lost the last 9 times they have ventured to the muffin-top stadium.
  • This was the Birds 3rd walk-off loss of the season; while it was the 1st walk-off win for Seibu.
  • Tomorrow will see Ogawa (5-1, 3.06) vs  Kishi (2-4, 4.17). Game time is 2 pm
About Scott

Scott is an avid fan of the underdog. He spent his childhood cheering for the Chicago White Sox and hating all teams from New York. Once he moved to Tokyo, he quickly directed this same hatred toward the tenants of the Tokyo Dome. Thus began his support of the Swallows (and anyone playing against the indoor Tokyo team).
In his mind, there is not a better place to be than at Jingu stadium watching the Swallows from the bleachers, drinking a nice cold drink, and cheering along with the extremely knowledgeable Swallows fans.