6/14/09 – Orix (Away)

June 14th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 14

Orix Buffaloes 10

Streak: Won 3   Last 5: WLWWW

(Kyocera Dome)

After its low-scoring win over Orix yesterday, Tokyo looked to complete the sweep Sunday afternoon.

Ishikawa (6-3) took the mound for Tokyo, and Hirano (2-2) got the start for the Buffs. Orix has won only one of the nine games it has played so far in June, and the birds are 5-4 during that same time span.

Sunday’s starting lineup:Guiel brings 'em all home.

1. Takeuchi (1B)
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Aoki (CF)
4. Guiel (RF)
5. Yuuichi (LF)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. D’Antona (DH)
8. Aikawa (C)
9. Kawashima (SS)

Tokyo got off to a quick start in this one courtesy of an Aaron Guiel triple (to left field!) that brought Tanaka (walk) and Aoki (single) around to score. Heading into the bottom of the first inning it was 2-0 Tokyo.

Former Tokyo infielder, Greg Larocca, added a run for the home team in the bottom of that inning, and then Orix scored another run in the third to make it 2-2.

And that’s when things officially got insane.

Aoki led off in the top of the fifth with the first of eleven straight base hits (a new NPB record by the way) which saw Tokyo put together one of the most unreal innings it has had in the last decade. They plated ten runs with Guiel and Iihara having multi-hit innings.

Guiel, if I can just take a moment to elaborate, smacked a grand slam in the inning (his 9th homer of the season), while Aoki and D’Antona both reached base twice. 12-2 Tokyo.

Orix got one back on a solo home run in the bottom of that inning to make it 12-3, before a Tanaka double in the sixth, and a D’Antona single in the seventh made it 14-3 Tokyo.

But then Hagiwara (3.07) and Maruyama (7.04) combined to walk four batters and set the plate for a home team grand slam off of Tokyo’s Hashimoto (2.89) to make it 14-8.

Orix scored two more off of Kida (5.67) before Lim (0.00) was called in to record the final out and end the game at 14-10.

Ishikawa was awarded the win on six innings of seven hit, three run pitching. His ERA stands at 3.81, and his record improved to 7-3.

On offense, Aoki, Guiel, and Iihara (despite not starting) had three hits each.

Aoki reached base five times, and D’Antona advanced safely four times (two walks apiece).

Takeuchi and Tanaka reached base three times each. The Swallows combined for 20 hits against Orix’s 12.

Guiel had, count ’em, six RBIs, while D’Antona chipped in with three, and Tanaka had two.

And the sweep is complete.

The birds are now three games behind first place Yomiuri.

The next series will be played against the Chiba Lotte Marines at Jingu Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

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

  • Zunlin

    What a game!

    That’s fifth was terrific! Unfortunately it happened just a few days after the 15 run inn by the Mariners, so may it won’t be remembered as it deserves.

  • Seems like Aoki has revived himself, he now has a respectable .367 OBP despite the horrendous start, though his power stroke is still lacking, but I reckon it’s coming back.

  • Nice win and nice sweep! You’re really creeping up on Yomiuri…

    Sorry to say I’m not rooting for you the next two games, though I’m sure you understand 🙂

  • Ken

    Hits in 11 straight at bats, innit? New NPB record I think.

    • Correct Ken.

      A new record for consecutive hits with 11.

      Very impressive. No Orix errors either to help, all the Swallows own work.

  • sUSIE

    ITS ABOUT TIME THE COACH GOT SMART AND PUT D’ANTONA BACK IN THE LINE UP….THE MORE HE IS ON THE FIELD AND PLAYING THE BETTER HE WILL GET. SITTING ON THE BENCH DOES NO GOOD.

    It’s about time the coach got smart and put D’Antona back in the line up……..the more he is on the field and playing the better he will get. Sitting on the bench does no good.

    • In some ways I do agree with you, and he was back in the lineup today and had a 2 for 4 game with two walks and 3 RBIs.

      If he can produce that kind of performance on a more regular basis then he will be back in the lineup no problem.

      But his main problem lies with the fact that there are a LOT of other young guys competing with him for a place in that lineup, and when he has gone through a barren spell before, and was replaced, the replacement has usually delivered.

      So at the moment he’s going to have to grab any opportunity that he gets (as he did today) and work his way back into the regular lineup, as his teamate Aaron Guiel has done.

    • joe d

      you are right on… the only way to get out of a slump is to get on the field and keep on swinging the lumber. I hope management understands that concept.

      • Unfortunately for D’Antona, management also understands they have a few eager and capable young’uns ready to step up and produce. The goal, after all, is to win games – if D’Antona helps Tokyo do that, great. If he’s slumping, in his first year, with no track record to support the idea of his being capable, he’s going to find himself without the luxury of getting comfortable.

        By all accounts, he’s got the right attitude, so there’s hope there, but it’s hard to make the case that Takeuchi, Noguchi, Hatakeyama, and Iihara don’t deserve shots at a spot in the batting order as well. D’Antona’s going to have his work cut out for him for a while, esp. vis a vis Hatake.

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