9/15/08 – Hiroshima (Home)

September 15th, 2008

Hiroshima Carp logo Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 7 Last 5: LLLLL

(Jingu Stadium)

Too bad it didn’t rain.

OK, first of all, Lewis was pitching for Hiroshima. He’s good. He gave up one run on what should have been a double-play ball. Five hits, seven K’s, one walk, and one beaned batter. His record is now 14-6 with a 2.34 ERA.

Tokyo starter Dickey Gonzalez also pitched well. He threw six innings of two run ball, gave up seven hits, fanned two and walked one. He also went one for two from the plate. He’s now 1-3 with a 3.60 ERA.

But that was it. Tokyo couldn’t get anything going against Hiroshima’s relief, and the whole night was just sort of, well, sterile.

From the plate, Kawashima had a multi-hit game, but other than that the Tokyo bats didn’t inflict much damage.

And now for my rant:

After years of gloating that Hanshin was always doomed during the last month of the season because their relief had been (and is) overused, Takada’s been busy doing the same thing. Matsuoka came in for his 56th appearance today. Oshimoto gave us his 60th. I don’t know what type of voice Araki (the pitching coach) is allowed in the dugout, but if he has any hand in this, then he’s equally to blame.

Takada has done a decent job of discarding the dead wood this season, so why hasn’t he cleaned house in the bullpen as well? Several middle releivers, who have been mediocre for years on end, are still allowed to come in and maintain their 6.50+ ERA’s.

I know that the young guys are being bred as future starters, but what would be the harm in bringing Muranaka in to pitch an inning or two after Ishikawa has left the game? Could be a good way to build his confidence, no? Wouldn’t that be preferable to putting Hanada in there? Call me crazy, but Katou and Masubuchi might be able to help the team in the same capacity. At the very least we’d be giving them game experience that will be helpful in seasons to come.

Instead we just keep putting Matsuoka and Oshimoto into every game.

Sorry, Takada-kantoku, I know that you’re only 15 wins away from being called a hero. I understand that this is your first year and that we should cut you some slack. But please, please, please stop copying coaching decisions that have been proven not to work for other teams.

Game two of the series is tomorrow night at Jingu starting at 6:20 PM.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini