5/28/09 – Orix (Home)

May 28th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Orix Buffaloes  0

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 2   Last 5: LLLWW

(Jingu Stadium)

Seven battling innings from Shohei Tateyama combined with some timely hitting carried Tokyo to victory in rainswept conditions on Thurday evening.

It rained continuously throughout the game, with conditions becoming more and more difficult as the evening progressed. Tateyama let a lot of men on base and into scoring positions during his seven innings, but managed to strand them all as he kept his nerve in the wet.

Shohei ended his shift having given up no runs off eight hits, striking out five, walking two and hitting one man. He earned his 6th win of the season (no losses so far, and indeed for well over ten starts going back to last season) and his ERA is now down to a supreme 1.534. He is now without question the ace in the Swallows’ starting deck.

Yakult’s runs came in the 2nd and 6th innings.  D’Antona hit a leadoff single in the 2nd, then Miyamoto grounded out to the pitcher before Tanaka hit a two run homer to left to make it 2-0 Tokyo. Orix’s starter Mitsuhara would be pulled after just three innings.

In the 6th against reliever Shimizu, an Aoki single, a Guiel walk and a D’Antona single loaded the bases with no outs. Miyamoto then hit one just out of reach of the diving second baseman Moriyama and two runs scored to make it 4-0 Tokyo.

Oshimoto worked a scoreless 8th in increasingly stong rain to lower his ERA to 2.213. Birthday boy (30 today) Igarashi (1.862) then successfully worked the 9th and the players could get out of the shitty weather and into the warm to drink their hot mugs of Yakult.

Officially 7348 people attended the game but I’d say it looked as if there were barely half that in the stadium to enjoy the wind and rain (and of course, the victory.)

Today saw a rare unchanged lineup from the day before, and D’Antona had another good game going 2 for 3 and edging up his average to .243.

Miyamoto had another two-hit game and is now at .297.  Hiroyasu Tanaka has seemingly remembered how to bat again after his early season troubles, with his second homer of the year taking his average up to .273.

Tokyo now get a day off before travelling the short distance to Chiba to take on the Marines for two games from Saturday afternoon.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD’S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto