8/07/08 – Chunichi ("Home" at Matsuyama)

August 7th, 2008

 Tokyo Yakult Swallows capChunichi Dragons 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 1. Last 5:LWLDL

Yakult and Chunichi played out another tight game tonight in Matsuyama, but a 7th inning solo homer from Dragons infielder Delarossa was enough to win it for the Nagoya team.

Tokyo’s starter was Tateyama and he pitched well, going 7 innings, giving up two runs off six hits, striking out five and walking one.  But a lack of run support for him against Chunichi’s starter Satoh meant he was tagged with his third loss for the year to leave his record at 6-3 with an ERA of 3.156.

Just as Wednesday, Yakult got on the board first in the bottom of the 1st, with a double from Kawashima followed by a single from the red-hot Ihara opening the scoring at 0-1.

Chunichi would draw level in the 6th.  Back to back doubles from Koike and Inoue evening the proceedings at 1-1.  And they would pull ahead in the next inning with Delarossa’s dinger for 2-1.

Youngster Asao came on to pitch the bottom of the 9th for Chunichi in the abscence of regular closer Iwase (who is with the Japanese Olympic team) and it looked like Yakult might salvage something late-on when Takeuchi and Yuichi got back to back one out singles. But pinch hitter Kawabata would snuff out any hopes as he hit into a double play to end the game.

Ihara went 3 for 4 to go with his 4 hit night yesterday and his batting average now stands at .302.

Guiel, now back in the team in the absence of Aoki, struggled once more, hitless with a walk and strikeout in his three plate appearences. He failed to bring runners home from scoring positions in both the 1st and 3rd innings and his average is now a lowly .197.

Oshimoto pitched a hitless 9th with two stikeouts as he seemed to put the woes of the last two games behind him.

With Hiroshima beating Hanshin again tonight, Yakult slipped down to 5th position in the Central League, a game behind the Carp.

Tokyo, and indeed the whole Central League, now have a break until the 12th as the Olympic team takes centre stage with games against Pacific League and Central League teams (both teams made up of selected players from that league) 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