8/17/08 – Chunichi (Away)

August 17th, 2008

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap 

Chunichi Dragons 5

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5:LWWWL
(Nagoya Dome)

 

Tokyo failed to sweep the Dragons and take a share of 3rd place as they fell to Chunichi on Sunday evening.

Dicky Gonzalez made his first start since 2006 for Yakult, and was tagged with the loss for his troubles.  Gonzalez started strongly, striking out three of the first five batters he faced, but the Chunichi hitters started to get hold of him on the second and third times around.  Dicky finished his 5 innings of work after giving up four runs off eight hits with five strikeouts.

The game looked to be going the way of the last two nights as the Swallows took a 3rd inning lead.  Gonzalez hit a double before Fukuchi tripled to bring him home for 1-0.  

But after that the Yakult bats managed just two more hits in the game against veteran Chunichi starter Yamamoto and reliever Asao, the former working 7 solid innings of five hit one run baseball.

After the Dragons tied up the game with a run in the bottom of the 4th, the main damage was done in the 5th.  Tyrone Woods hitting a 3 run homer to put Chunichi 1-4 up.

Reliever Nishizaki, making his first appearance of the season, gave up two hits in the 6th but managed to get out of the inning without a run scoring.

Hanada came in to pitch the 7th but was punished by Norihiro Nakamura who hit a solo homer to extend the lead to 1-5. 

Matsui then pitched a hitless 8th but without the run support the game was over and Chunichi maintained their 3rd place position.

Yakult have their regular off day Monday before returning to Jingu on Tuesday to face crosstown rivals the Yomiuri Giants in a three game series.

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

  • The big fifth inning is supposed to be our thing.

    The frustration is endless. Had Oshimoto not fallen apart and blown a five-run lead in the 8th inning in Kure a couple weeks back, we’d be tied for third, with a playoff spot bobbling around in our hands. Had Guiel’s oh-so-close slide into home against Chunichi at Botchan Stadium – a call that could have gone either way and not been obviously wrong – been called safe by the ump who didn’t see it, instead of out, we’d be tied for third, with a playoff spot bobbling around in our hands. And how many more stories like that are there?

    Yes, I know, that’s why baseball is exciting, but it’d be even more exciting if we were sitting in third in this neck-and-neck race instead of consistently falling to the bottom of the pack.

    Well, we have plenty of chances to knock Chunichi and Hiroshima out of position left. However, we also have two series against Yokohama left – one of those at home – and unfortunately beating the weakest team in the league at our own home park has been one of the toughest things to accomplish this year.