9/6/08 – Yomiuri (Home)

September 6th, 2008
Yomiuri Giants 4

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7

Streak: Won 1  Last 5: WWWLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

This one was a lot of fun to watch!

Yoshinori started. Yeah, we thought the same. But he really held his own while he was in. In fact, he pitched perfect baseball through four innings, and he gave up only one hit through the end of five (Takahashi solo home run; 3-1 Tokyo lead).

And he might have been left in an out or two too long, but he got through six with the score tied 3-3.

But then Fukukawa came through with a three-run tater that put the home side up 6-3.

And that was after he hit a two-run shot in the second!

Yoshinori, despite the three runs, pitched brilliantly. Six innings, 99 pitches, eight K’s, two walks, and only two hits. Definitely deserving of another start, which is very good because now there’s a serious competition going for the starter slots.

Kawashima, Tateyama, Ishikawa and Muranaka all have serious roots in the starting rotation. Masubuchi and Yoshinori have also shown that they can throw. Recently Douglass and Gonzalez have shown up to the party–late, but not unwelcome. This is very good! Eight decent pitchers vying for five spots.

Anyway, back to tonight’s game.

Fukukawa was the story of the evening on offense. Four plate appearances. Two walks (one intentional). Two-for-two. Two home runs. Five rbi’s. 1 stolen base. Not a whole lot more to say.

We even booed Yomiuri when they intentionally walked him after his first home run (to get to Yoshinori, of course), but it turned out to be one of the few intelligent coaching decisions that Hara has made in the last two seasons because he drilled another one to left in his third at-bat (but then again maybe he was just postponing the inevitable).

Yoshinori picked up his first big-league win and Tokyo kept within striking distance of third place in the central league.

Game three of the series is tomorrow night at 6:20 PM at Meiji Jingu Stadium.

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

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  • Ken

    Good game to watch, but what was up with all the sitters out in right? 2/3 of the crowd sitting down when the Swallows were at bat, didn’t know the songs. Looked like it was couples night to me.

    Good to see new peeps at the game, but at least stand for something other than a home run!

  • Yeah, that was probably the biggest crowd I’d seen since Opening Day and that means there were probably a lot of people there who aren’t keeping up with the day by day progress of the team.

    It’s both a little confusing and disheartening that even our own crowd swells when we play Yomiuri. It kind of gives the feeling that even some of our own fans can’t be bothered to make it out except when the ever-popular Giants show up, as if the Swallows aren’t interesting on their own.

    The swell in home crowd size for the big, name-brand teams (Yomiuri and Hanshin) makes me wonder who those folks are really supporting.

    Overall, our side certainly could use a big shot of enthusiasm.

  • Ken

    Well, the Giants are a bigger name, and from the same city. I would expect bigger crowds when they come in. Who knows, maybe some of them will be back.

  • What gets me is not that there are bigger crowds in general. That makes perfect sense. What I find a bit confusing is why more people show up on the Swallows side when we play the Giants. Perhaps it is just the intra-city rivalry.
    It would seem to me, though, that games against Chunichi or Hiroshima would be the big draws given the closeness of the race among them.

    As you say, though, I won’t complain about a bigger crowd. Here’s hoping those folks show up for the important games that are coming up.