Iwamura on Fire, but Tampa Drops First Game to Philadelphia

Iwamura heads for second base

Iwamura has helped lead the Rays to their first ever American League Championship

Akinori Iwamura, second baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays (and former Tokyo Swallows third baseman), went three-for-four with an RBI double in the first game of the 2008 World Series.

But it wasn’t enough as the visiting Phillies took the first game of the series, 3-2.

Iwamura beat both Hamels (P) and Howard (1B) to first base for his opening hit of the game (an Ichiroesque infield single.)

He then had another single before doubling into the gap in left-center in the bottom of the fifth. Jason Bartlett (SS) scored on the play.

With four total bases in four at-bats and 3-4 at the plate, his World Series numbers look like this: .750/.750/1.000.

And Iwamura’s postseason numbers (which include the divisional series versus the Chicago White Sox, the league championship series versus Boston, and one game versus Philadelphia in the World Series) are also impressive:

Akinori Iwamura (2B)

# Player GP At-bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI TB SB BB K AVG OBP SLG
1 Iwamura 12 51 16 4 1 1 5 25 2 6 9 .314 .386 .490

Hopefully Iwamura can continue his postseason hot-streak and help the Rays level the series in game two.

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

  • I don’t want to take any laurels away from Iwamura, and I myself am pulling for Tampa Bay, but it seems to me our extended, vicarious loyalties should be at least a little with Philly and their manager, Charlie Manuel, another former Swallow.

    Of course, we all saw Iwamura play here, but Manuel led the Swallows to their first second-place finish ever, followed by their first CL pennant and Japan Series ever – all back around the time we were born.