6/17/09 – Chiba (Home)

June 17th, 2009

Chiba Lotte Marines logo Chiba Lotte Marines 1Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 10

Streak:  Won 4   Last 5: LWWWW

(Jingu Stadium)

The two-run homer was the Swallows’ weapon of choice, with Aoki, D’Antona, Aikawa and Takeuchi all going deep as Tokyo rolled over the Marines at Jingu.

Yoshinori made his second start since rejoining the top team after a spell on the farm with his blisters, and he had one of his best outings of 2009 so far. Though he was helped a touch by Chiba’s affinity for hitting into the double play (three times for Yoshinori, four overall). The nineteen year-old finished his six innings having given up no runs off five hits, striking out seven and walking three to improve his record to 3 and 4 with his ERA falling to 4.240.

Today’s lineup saw Takada shuffle things around again, with D’Antona back for the second straight game, this time in his regular no.4 slot:

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

Yakult faced off against Chiba starter Naruse, and took the lead in the bottom of the opening inning. Ihara led off with a double and was moved along by a Tanaka bunt, but Chiba tried and failed to make the out at third, leaving both men safe. Next man Aoki hit a groundout to second but it was enough to score Ihara for 1-0 Tokyo.

And the first of the two-run shots came in the 3rd, with a two-out Tanaka single being followed up by Aoki’s sixth homer of the year and it was 3-0 Tokyo.

The second came in the 6th, D’Antona hitting his ninth dinger of the year to bring home himself and Aoki to make it 5-0.

Matsuoka (1.952) replaced Yoshinori in the top of the 7th, and Chiba’s bats finally woke up with three hits and a run (Imae with the timely hit) narrowing to Tokyo lead to 5-1.

But the five-run lead was restored in the bottom of the 7th, singles from Hatakeyama (pinch-hitting for the pitcher) and Ihara were followed by a Tanaka single up the middle to bring home a run and make it 6-1 Tokyo.

Igarashi (1.421) pitched a hitless top of the 8th before Tokyo blew the doors off in the bottom of the inning with their third and fourth two-run shots.  Aikawa hit homerun no.2 for the year (and his second in the last three games) before Takeuchi (pinch hitting for Ihara) hit his first of the year to cap the scoring at 10-1 Tokyo.

Hagiwara (2.872) pitched the 9th and that was that, with the final two outs coming from a double play.

Although Chiba racked up 9 hits (to Tokyo’s 15) they just couldn’t get into a groove (or rather, the double plays screwed things up just a touch) as Yakult strolled to an easy victory.

Yoshinori and Aoki were selected for the postgame “Hero” interviews. Aoki went 2 for 4 with an intentional walk as he brought home three of the Tokyo runs to take his average up to .270. When told that it was his first Hero interview appearance of the year he commented that it was “Natsukashii/????” (he felt nostalgic). Hopefully we’ll be seeing him up there more often from now on and it’ll be less of a novelty for him.

The Swallows have now scored 24 runs in their last two games.

The two teams return to Jingu tomorrow evening, rainy-season weather permitting, for the last of their four games with Tokyo ahead 2-1.


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

  • Eek! That was a beating. I got home just in time to watch the last few innings in glorious hi-vision.

    The Tokyo offense has sure been eating its Wheaties lately, that’s for sure. Keep this up and you’ll be making noise in the post-season for sure.

    I don’t know who Tokyo is starting tomorrow, but it should be Ohmine for Lotte. That’s probably good news for you the way he’s been pitching lately.

  • I think tomorrow is going to be Tateyama, which is probably bad news for you guys. Though he can’t keep winning forever…….

  • Aoki has awoken. The intentional walk tonight was a good indication of that.

    Incidentally, tonight’s walk (his 29th) has him tied with Matsunaka (Fukuoka) for 9th in NPB.

    This is definitely a welcome addition to his offensive arsenal.

  • Aoki stats for June (11 games played):

    Batting average = .405
    Hits = 15
    Home runs = 3
    RBI’S = 7
    Walks = 9 (including 1 HBP)

  • Thankfully, the only way in which Aoki’s pace has been slipping is in getting pegged.

    David, look at it a different way – in any given game he starts, it is feasible that Tateyama wins. Looking at one game at a time makes it theoretically possible that he keeps winning forever.