4/3/09 – Hanshin (Away)

April 3rd, 2009

Sanshin TigersTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Swallows 2

Hanshin Tigers 5

Streak: Lost 1     Last 1:  L

(Kyocera Dome)

First of all, the home plate umpire was crap. The strike zone changed every inning. Pitchers from both teams were confused to the brink of tears by some of the calls.

Second, there are some pretty shocking TV commercials shown on cable.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the game report.

Ishikawa was not able to locate his pitches in this one, and he paid for it. He lasted only four innings (71 pitches), gave up five runs off of six hits and had three K’s against two walks.

The bulk of the damage was done in the second when Sekimoto cranked a three-run homer to left on one of many Ishikawa-issued meatballs.

Down 5-0, the Swallows got one back in the fifth off a monster home run to right care of Aaron Guiel.

Hanshin 5-1 Tokyo.

Tokyo’s only other run came in the seventh on an Aikawa single in which Tanaka crossed home plate. 5-2, Hanshin on top.

And that’s how it ended. Ishikawa (0-1) took the loss and has a 11.25 ERA to work on from here on out.

Ando (1-0) was good enough to allow only two runs despite throwing a ton of balls in the dirt.

Tanaka was the highlight for the Swallows from the plate. He went 3-4 with three doubles and one run. Aikawa also did better than his preseason numbers would lead one to expect by tallying two hits (the first one was a bit lucky). He actually reached base three times (the third time was on an error at third).

In his first official game for the Swallows, new import, Jamie D’Antona, went 1-4 with a double.

The top third of the order didn’t reach base once in this game.

Satou, Oshimoto and Maruyama combined to shut the Tigers out during the final four innings of the game.

Here’s Tokyo’s opening day lineup:

1. Fukuchi (LF)
2. K. Kawashima (SS)
3. Aoki (CF)
4. Guiel (RF)
5. D’Antona (1B)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. Tanaka (2B)
8. Aikawa (C)
9. Ishikawa (P)

Game two of the series is tomorrow at two o’clock.

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

  • Rob

    Aikawa went 2-for-4 and threw a runner out, so I won’t say anything bad about him. (Okay, I will sort of – the throw was way high, but Kawashima was able to get it down in time.)

    I confess, the lure of Iwakuma-Darvish and Greisinger-Lewis was too much and I surfed through much of the night (and I really dislike Kyocera Dome). But it could have been worse. A good start for Guiel is good for the entire order. The bullpen did its job. TYS had more hits, and without that 3RHR….

    What kind of commercials does cable have? SkyPerfect is just one car insurance or slender shaper spiel after another. Their target market must be watching the game while they drive.

  • Yep, Ishikawa’s performance was the difference between the teams, that Sekimoto HR being the key.

    Other than that, encouraging signs: Tanaka, Aikawa, Guiel and the bullpen.

    I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in Kawashima however when he comes to the plate with men on base, he always looks overmatched. I’d sooner see Noguchi in his place.

    On to tomorrow.

  • Rob,
    Cable has a load of $15-budget commercials that make you wonder why the companies even bothered.

    One recurring ad (the company shall remain nameless) involved two burglars with amazingly bad sound during the first five seconds. It’s obvious that they didn’t mic the actors individually, and there’s only a single shotgun mic picking up both voices and all of the traffic in the background.

    There was a lot of stuff like that.

  • Dave,
    Yeah, Ishikawa didn’t have his best stuff tonight. I can remember at least three times when he left the ball high in the zone and a bad word escaped from my mouth before the batter even started his swing. Those pitches ended up in all sorts of unreachable locations (one of them was Kanemoto’s first hit–that sharp liner to right field).

    But that’s OK. Masanori will bounce back. As will Greisinger (sigh).

  • Why are there no standings?

    http://bis.npb.or.jp/2009/stats/

  • was at the Dome last night stood shoulder to shoulder with the Carp fans. Great atmosphere but Greis sucked big time.

    The fonz didn’t fare too badly in his first outing but Hara has got to fix his bullpen sharpish.

    At home this eve for the YS game on telly.