8/30/08 – Yokohama (Away)

August 30th, 2008 – Game called after 7 innings due to rain

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yokohama BayStars 8

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWLLW
(Yokohama Stadium)

Yakult would just not lie down as they won a topsy-turvy rain-shortened contest in Yokohama on Saturday night. The birds kept coming back from behind to grind out a win against the 6th placed BayStars.

Tokyo’s starter was 19 year old rookie Yoshinori Satoh, who was making his first pro start after being drafted from high school this close-season. Unfortunately, his debut was the stuff of nightmares, as he only lasted 1 and 2/3 innings, giving up six runs (five earned), off six hits. Luckily for the youngster, the Yakult bats came to his rescue and he would escape with a no-decision.

The Swallows opened the scoring in the top of the 1st off Baystars starter Kobayashi. Lead-off man Fukuchi was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Next man Miyamoto sac-bunted to move Fukuchi along. Aoki then singled to put men on the corners with one out. Fourth man up Hatakeyama singled scoring Fukuchi and allowing Aoki to reach third for 1-0 Yakult. Ihara then flew out to first, before Manager Takada then called for a double steal, scoring Aoki from third and moving Hatakeyama to second for 2-0. this is the second time a Swallow has stolen home in the last three games. Next man up Hiroyasu Tanaka then doubled to bring home Hatakeyama for a 3-0 first inning lead.

Yokohama wasted no time getting all over the rookie Yoshinori in the bottom of the 1st, a two-run homer from Murata narrowing the gap to 3-2.

Tokyo were hitless in the top of the 2nd before the Baystars blew the game wide open in the bottom of the same inning. Yoshinori managed to make just two outs, giving up four hits and four runs before reliever Kida was called out of the bullpen to get the final out of the inning. An inning that saw Yokohama take a 3-6 lead.

Tokyo would get four hits and two runs of their own in the top of the 3rd, RBIs from Hatakeyama and Ihara shrinking the lead to 5-6.

But the three run lead would be restored in the bottom of the same inning, with a two-run blast from catcher Aikawa off Kida making it 5-8.

But Tokyo wasn’t done yet. In the top of the 4th, RBI singles from Hatakeyama and Aoki added another two runs to make it 7-8. Kida then pitched a hitless bottom of the 4th to keep them in the game.

In the 5th, a two run homer from Fukukawa put the Swallows’ beaks out in front and they found themselves 9-8 ahead.

Oshimoto then pitched scoreless 5th and 6th innings, before the game was called in he bottom of the 7th.

Kida earned the win for Tokyo, his first of the year in just his fourth appearance out of the bullpen. Yoshinori’s ERA after his debut stands at 27.000.

Yakult’s number 3 and 4 hitters Aoki and Hatakeyama both went 3 for 4 in the game, batting in four runs between them.

The final game of the series is Sunday evening.

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

  • May this good fortune continue!

    BTW, thank you for the link to my blog. Sorry because it’s in Japanese.
    As there are not so many Yakult fans, this site is really encouraging. I do hope you’ll keep it going.

  • No need to apologize for a blog about a Japanese baseball team being in Japanese, Tomnish! (It makes perfect sense.) We’d like to see a lot more on the Swallows in Japanese – anything to break the Yomiuri-Hanshin deadlock on NPB.

    We’ll keep going – you do so, too.