6/18/08 – SoftBank ("Home" at Nagano)

June 18th, 2008

SoftBank Hawks 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Streak: Won 2 Last 5: WWLWW

(“Home” game for Tokyo at Nagano Olympic Stadium)

A solid evening’s work from Masanori Ishikawa and a 2 run homer from Norichika Aoki was enough to edge the Swallows past Softbank in Nagano this evening.

Ishikawa pitched 7 solid innings, giving up 5 hits, 1 run, and striking out 5.

Yakult struck early with Aoki’s two run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning off Hawks starter (and ex-Swallow) Rick Guttormsen.

The Hawks would pull one run back in the 6th, with first-baseman Kokubo bringing home Matsunaka for 1-2. But Tokyo would restore the two run margin in the 7th with an RBI from pinch-hitter Saitoh.

Oshimoto pitched a perfect 8th for the Swallows, and Lim held on for his 17th save, despite giving up a run in the 9th.

Ishikawa’s record now stands at 7 wins and 4 losses, with his ERA now down to just 2.077.

The Swallows return to Jingu Thursay night for the second game of the two game Hawks series.

Also on June 18th: “Is Sacrifice Bunting Worth It?”

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