4/26/09 — Yokohama (Home)

April 26th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yokohama BayStars 6

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 5  Last 5: LLLLL
(Jingu Stadium)

The Swallows, for several years, have suffered from an inability to either pitch or hit during a given stretch of contests. At times, the starters would give up two runs or less and the bullpen wouldn’t yield anything more. Those spans of time would commonly be accompanied by a frustrating inability to get on base and provide run support.

The opposite was also true. The bats would put five or more runs on the board, but the arms would give up eight. Either the offense or defense would take a nap while the other pulled all the weight.

Right now, however, the whole unit has kind of gone to sleep. And today marked the fifth loss in a row.

Yoshinori started this one and got two quick outs before falling apart. Inning number one only featured one hit for Yokohama, but they were able to score three runs care of four walks and a beaning. The 19-year-old finally got out of the inning when Glynn (P) struck out.

But that was it for Yoshinori. Matsuoka took the mound from there. Information about why he was yanked is a bit scarce at this point, but if it was because of complications from the blisters that forced him from the game last week, then we’ll soon be updating the Takada Count.

Matsuoka gave up another three runs in the second, and the birds quickly found themselves down by six runs.

The BayStars didn’t score any more from there on out, but the Swallows didn’t exactly impress at the plate. Some of the credit is due to Yokohama starter, Ryan Glynn, who was dialed in during the middle innings. But still, only Miyamoto had a multi-hit game for Tokyo, and aside from him, only Aoki reached base more than once.

This felt very much like a game that we gave away. That’s kind of a common theme as of late.

The lineup, aside from the pitcher, was exactly the same as the one that bowed down to Miura on Friday. One big difference is that we had guys in scoring position plenty of times this time, but everyone seems to be swinging for the fences at the moment. That means that there were an inordinate number of long fly balls tonight.

I can understand the allure of the quick fix, a late inning home run, but our guys need to remember the beauty and efficacy of hitting a clutch single to start or extend a rally. The meat of our lineup is swinging up on everything. Fly ball, fly ball, fly ball.

In the words of Jerry Maguire, “That doesn’t inspire people!”

For the record, Yoshinori took the loss on only one inning comprised of a whopping 48 pitches. His ERA is now 6.06 due to the three earned runs he surrendered off of one hit, two strikeouts, four walks and the solo HBP. He lost any and all control after the first two batters, and Yokohama just stopped swinging. After the first inning was finally over, someone was overheard muttering, “Yoshinori couldn’t hit the broad side of Kiyohara’s ass.”

After Matsuoka was done giving up his three runs, Oshimoto, Kida and Lim took the mound without allowing any more Baystars to cross home plate.

Tokyo now travel for road series against the Dragons and the Carp before hosting Hanshin to start off the Golden Week holiday. Game one is on Tuesday 5th of May and starts at 6pm.

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

  • It was good seeing you at the game today Christopher. But man, hopefully Yoshinori’s control problems were because of the blister. Well, he’s still 19 and got lots of room to grow.

  • True true. But if those blisters became a problem after only two batters, then he probably shouldn’t have been starting in the first place.

    If we’re making him pitch while he’s injured, then he might not get much further than a lot of the other promising high schoolers that have burned out on our farm team.

    I’d actually be a little happier if the explanation for today’s meltdown was that he was just having a bad day. I’m really hoping that Araki and Takada didn’t put him in the game before his injury was fully healed.

    However, I do have faith in the kid. He’s already shown that he has what it takes to become a 10 game winner.

    Good seeing you, too, Simon.

  • There was nothing in the TV or web news about the blister, so it was probably just a bad case of melt down by a young kid with control problems. No big deal in the bigger scheme of things, but a game lost that could’ve been contested.