6/05/09 – Tohoku Rakuten (Home)

June 5th, 2009

Rakuten Eagles character Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 3Yakult Cap

 Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LWLLW

(Jingu Stadium)

After being thoroughly outplayed during their two games in the Seibu Dome the Swallows returned to Jingu, and on the back of yet another quality Tateyama start won easily against the slumping Eagles.

For his second successive start, Tateyama had to deal with rainy conditions at Jingu, but the conditions didn’t affect him a jot. Shohei went seven innings, giving up two runs off just three hits, striking out one, walking one and hitting one man. He would earn his CL leading 7th win of the season (his 13th win in a row without defeat) with his ERA now at 1.645.

Today’s lineup saw Hatakeyama again in the cleanup spot, with D’Antona dropping to the bench:

  1. Kawashima Keizo (SS)
  2. Fukuchi (LF)
  3. Aoki (CF)
  4. Hatakeyama (1B)
  5. Guiel (RF)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Tanaka (2B)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Tateyama (P)

Pitching dominated early on, with Tateyama pitching a perfect game through the first three innings. Yakult took the lead off Rakuten starter Nagai in the bottom of the 3rd. A two-out walk from Keizo was followed up by a RBI triple from Fukuchi and a RBI double from Aoki and the Swallows had themselves a 2-0 lead.

Rakuten then halved the lead in the top of the 4th with their first hit of the game, a Kusano solo homer, making it 2-1 Tokyo.

But Yakult would pull further ahead in the bottom of the 4th. A one out solo omer from Miyamoto made it 3-1 before Tanaka grounded out for out number two. Aikawa then tripled before pitcher Tateyama helped his own cause with a RBI single to make it 4-1. Keizo then hit his sixth homer of the year to left (he had just four career dingers prior to this season) and it was 6-1 Tokyo.

Two more runs followed in the 5th. Aoki singled to leadoff the inning and was brought home by a Hatakeyama double for 7-1. Guiel then worked a walk before Miyamoto hit a grounder to short, the out was made at second to leave men on the corners with one out. Tanaka then walked to load the bases for Aikawa who hit a sacfly to left and it was 8-1 Tokyo.

Tateyam got himself into his first jam of the game in the top of the 6th, with a single, a dead ball and a walk loading the bases with no outs. But the Rakuten bats could only manage to bring home one run via a sacfly and Takeyama escaped the inning with the score at 8-2 Tokyo.

Tokyo’s final run scored in the bottom of the 6th, a timely Guiel two-out double with men on first and second making it 9-2 Tokyo.

Igarashi (1.770) pitched a scoreless 8th before Hagiwara (2.250) came to the mound for the 9th. He gave up a Yamazaki solo homer but got the job done to make it 9-3 Final.

So a good recovery from the dirge that was served up in Saitama, though it does help to have your ace on the mound against a slumping opposition.

Lots of positives, especially with the bat as Yakult score nine runs for the first time this season:

Aoki went 3 for 4 with a walk to take him to .253 for the year. His recent performances have been very encouraging.

Hatakeyama went 2 for 4 and is now at .349.

 Aikawa went 2 for 3 (a double and a triple) with the RBI sacfly and is now batting .257.

Only Tanaka didn’t get a hit out of the starters as the team combined for 12 hits, to Rakuten’s 6.

So a key win to end the two game losing streak, with all the other CL top 5 teams also winning this evening.

The two teams return to Jingu tomorrow evening, weather permitting, before the Swallows take on Hokkaido at home from Sunday.

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

  • Ken

    Sending the Red Sox info on Tateyama right now. We need a guy like this after last night.

  • No-one here gives a flying shit what the Red Stockings need my friend.

    This is a Swallows site.

  • Rob

    Nono, I appreciate that as a compliment, back-handed perhaps, but recognition of Tateyama’s strengths.

    In a similar vein, one of the sports dailies (Nikkan Fuji?) noted that the Giants would like to have Lim, who would, I think, be free to sign with any other team next year. Ngah…. They could just throw him on their pile of stoppers they’ve added from other teams.

    To go with starters they’ve added from other teams – like Greisinger or Dicky, who’s suddenly healthy and throwing like an ace – or clean-up hitters they’ve added from other teams (Lee, Ogasawara, Hirosawa, Ochiai, Rammy-chan…).

    The paper said the attendance for TYS-TRGE for Friday was 13,065 – in THAT rain? I’m sure the stats people lie like rugs. But that’s one of the biggest problems I have with interleague. They HAVE to play it to fill out the schedule. Come hell or high water….

    rant off

    • Don’t worry Rob, I know Ken. He is just a slightly obnoxious die-hard Red Sox fan (is there any other kind??) masquerading as a Swallows fan.

      I’ve no doubt that Yomiuri will be after Lim (and if history is anything to go by will probably get him). Anyone who can follow a team like that needs a soul transplant. Complete joke of a “team”. The Dicky transformation into healthy ace definitely follows the law of the Swallows though.

      As for yesterday’s game. I didn’t go but from what I saw on TV there were a fair few people braving the conditions. Around 10,000 sounds about right.

  • Spruce Meadows

    Are they wearing these Jersey’s as part of the 40th anniversary celebration or is this a permanent change? Caught a game VS the Hawks last month and they were worn then aswell. Have they been worn every game?

  • Hi Spruce.

    They are old Kokutetsu Swallows (more info here) uniforms, worn only for a few home series during the Interleague games.

    They were worn for both Softbank games, both Rakuten, and will be worn tomorrow vs Hippon Ham and for the Saturday home game vs Seibu.

    Don’t know why their use has been so sporadic. I would have preferred them to be used in all the home IL games as they’re rather nice.