6/23/08 – Orix (Home)

June 23rd, 2008 

(rearranged game from Sunday 22nd which was rained-out)

Orix Buffaloes  3 

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 2. Last 5: WWLWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium) 

 

Shinichi Takeuchi was the 10th inning hero for the Swallows, getting a sayonara hit to win Tokyo’s final Interleague game of 2008.

Yakult starter Muranaka pitched a good six innings of one-run ball, off four hits, striking out six , and was unlucky not to register his second straight win. 

Orix took the lead in the top of the 3rd inning by way of a sacrifice fly from centrefielder Sakaguchi to make it 1-0. 

Yakult would come back to take the lead in the bottom of the 3rd with a hit from both Miyamoto and Aoki, followed by a double from Hatakeyama to bring the runners home for 1-2 Swallows.

And the score would stay that way until the 7th innning.  Keizo Kawashima, pinch-hitting for Muranaka, got a single through the middle.   He then stole second, and then during the next at-bat, attempted to steal third which drew a poor throw (and error) from Orix catcher Hidaka which evaded the third baseman, allowing Kawashima to score.  1-3 Swallows.

Also in the 7th inning, outfileder Usami Makitani, in his 10th season with the farm team, was called up to pinch hit – his first big league at bat. He struck out.

Matsuoka and Oshimoto would then work scoreless 7th and 8th innings, until closer Lim entered the game in the top of the 9th.  Lim gave up a solo home run off the first batter he faced, Alex Cabrera, then struck out Rhodes before giving up another solo dinger to Kitagawa to tie the game.  He would give up a double to the next batter but would eventually get out of the inning without further damage being inflicted.

Lim has now given up 5 runs (4 earned) in his last 5 appearences.

Matsui would work a scoreless 10th before the Swallows again faced Orix closer Katoh, who had been in since the 9th inning.  Katoh would strike out Fukukawa, before walking Ihara and Tanaka.  Wilson Valdez would then move the runners along with a ground out to second before Takeuchi would get the decisive hit to bring home Ihara and win the game.

Suprisingly, this was Tokyo’s first sayonara victory of the season.

With the Interleague games now wrapped up, the Swallows get a four day break before facing CL leaders Hanshin in a two game “home” series in Akita this weekend.

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

  • Phew, that was close. The first sayonara win for the season eh. I wasn’t expecting Lim to give up 2 homers to tie up the game, good thing the birds bats came through in the end.

    5 runs allowed in the last 5 appearances. Are hitters in Japan starting to figure out Lim, was there some change to his health/mechanics, or is this just a statistical glitch?

    Having a “home” series in Akita might be a good way to keep all those Tigers fans away from the games 😛

  • Close indeed. I’m glad the batters came through in the bottom of the 10th to deflect some of the attention away from the blown save.

    As for why Lim is being got to of late, I think they may be starting to figure him out somewhat, as he’s starting to be hit a lot more than earlier in the seaon, where his freaky motion bamboozled most batters he faced.

    Interestingly enough, it seems the PL batters got to him much more than the CL’s did. Simply due to the fact that we’re further along in the season or the PL clubs are better at analysing the opposition?

    The 4 day break will allow Yakult to continue employing their 4 man rotation (Ishikawa, Tateyama, Kawashima, Muranaka) that they’ve been able to use at the back-end of the IL games (due to all the off days) for a little while longer.

    Yes, Akita will hopefuly keep the Hanshin fans away, but their swarming, cockroach-like properties will make sure that they’ll be there in some numbers regardless of where it is. Unfortunately.

  • Careful, guys, don’t give away tactics. Although it sounds far-fetched and science fictiony at this point, rumor has it that some Hanshin fans are displaying near-human intelligence and purposeful use of tools. Don’t let them know where you’re going. They’ll follow you and steal your sandwiches.

  • Ken

    rumor has it that some Hanshin fans are displaying near-human intelligence and purposeful use of tools. Don’t let them know where you’re going. They’ll follow you and steal your sandwiches.

    And hide your sisters!

  • You mean hide their sisters, right?

  • Spiegel

    Be nice guys. I think your money at Jingu stadium comes from so many Tigers fans going to your games.

    And Giants fans.

    And probably other teams fans.

    How much attendance would there be at a stadium with only Swallows fans?
    I think it would be no problem for Tigers or Giants in terms of money.

    Maybe treat Tigers fans like pet cockroaches – keep them in a glass box so we can’t hear them. Keep all sisters far away.

  • Maybe treat Tigers fans like pet cockroaches – keep them in a glass box so we can’t hear them. Keep all sisters far away.

    OK Speigel, we’ll be nice (for now….). Especially since you suggested a good compromise.

  • Joe

    I am a Red Sox fan currently taking a sojourn in Osaka. Naturally, I feel drawn to the Osaka Dome to maybe get a tour, buy something from the team shop. Does any one know if there is a shop there? If not, where in Osaka can I buy some team merchandise? Thanks for any guidance…Joe

  • Hi Joe. There should be a team shop at the Osaka Dome. I visited there a few years back. I seem to remember there are a couple of shops around the general area of the dome, along with a few restaurants.

  • Joe, the Yakyu Shop sells all kinds of Japanese baseball merchandise on line as well, but if you’re in Osaka, the stadium is probably your best bet.