6/30/09 – Yokohama (Away)

June 30th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Yokohama BayStars 3

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: WLWLL

(Matsumoto Stadium)

Ah you’ve gotta love Tokyo. Can’t beat the best, can’t beat the worst. A day after losing the series against the Giants, Tokyo travelled to Matsumoto for a road game against the frankly terrible BayStars to try to get back on the winning road. Only they couldn’t quite manage to find that particular road as they fell to their fifth loss in their six games against Yokohama so far this season.

Tokyo lined up as follows:

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

Yuki started the game, and he got himself an early lead before he’d even thrown a pitch. Fukuchi led off the game with a single, before Tanaka fluffed a bunt attempt which went straight to pitcher Yoshimi, who made the first out at second. Aoki then drew a walk to put men on first and second with one out.

Next man D’Antona then hit a fierce grounder to short stop Ishikawa, but he couldn’t snag the ball as it rolled on to the outfield allowing Tanaka to score for 1-0 Tokyo and putting runners on the corners for Guiel. The Canadian hit a deep sac fly to centre which scored Aoki and Tokyo had themselves a 2-0 1st inning lead.

Yuki then held the ‘Stars to just a hit through the 2nd inning before they halved the deficit in the bottom of the 3rd. A Yoshimura double was followed up one out later with an Uchikawa timely single to make it 2-1 Tokyo.

And the lead was gone in the 4th as Shimizono hit a solo homer and it was all square at 2-2.

Yakult would strand a man at third in the top of the 5th before Yokohama took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Fujita hit a lead off single and was brought home two outs later by a Saeki timely single to make it 3-2 Yokohama.

That was all for Yuki as he was replaced by Lee Hye-Cheon who made the final out of the inning. Yuki finished his 4 and 2/3 innings having given up three runs of eight hits. He struck out five and walked one, and he would ultimately be tagged with the loss that takes his record to 2 and 2 / 4.179  for the year.

After Yoshimi had departed in the 6th inning, a sequence of four BayStars relievers culminating in closer Yamaguchi restricted Tokyo to just one further hit (they had six total in the game to Yokohama’s eight) in the game and that was that for a 3-2 Final.

Lee (3.724) didn’t allow a hit in his 1 and 1/3 innings in relief, the same as Matsuoka (1.820) and Igarashi (1.227) in their inning apiece. But with the lack of run support that excellent relief was all in vain.

Two hits for (.266) both Fukuchi and D’Antona (.250) were the bright spots in the lineup with the bat. Aoki went 0 for 2 (both strikeouts) with two walks as he continues to be seemingly taking a break from his return to form. He’s now batting .263 for the season.

The two teams now travel to Kofu for another “Home” game for the BayStars tomorrow, which will be the last of a quick two game series. Thurday is an off-day before Tokyo travvel to Koshien to take on the Tigers from Friday.

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

  • flick

    WTF!!
    And who the f*ck is Shimozono!?!?!?
    Urgghhh… and Yomiuri and Chunichi both won……

    • Shimozono Tatsuya has been looking really good down at Yokosuka the past couple of years, but has been unable to really catch on at ichi-gun. Has his time finally come? I’m not sure.

      But this evening has been all Fujita, another young ‘Star who’s mostly struggled with his few chances at ichi-gun. It’s about time we get a few of them to get over the hump.

      • Do you have to keep getting them over the hump against us, though?

        Is there some deep-rooted desie for revenage against Tokyo festering down at Yokohama of which I’m unaware? The ‘Stars barely even bother to show up for much of the season, but then channel all of their winning intentions and ability into games against the Swallows. What gives? Do us a favor and unleash some of that whoop-ass on Yomiuri and Chunichi as well.

      • Fujita went 5 for 5 (three singles a triple and a homer) with three RBIs.

        Very impressive, but as Garrett said, why oh why did he have to chose a Tokyo game to get over the hump!!

        Save it for the Giants Yokohama!!

      • “Is there some deep-rooted desie for revenage against Tokyo festering down at Yokohama of which I’m unaware?”

        Yes, there is. Back when Ohya-kantoku was managing the first time around, the BayStars were on the trail to a 1997 pennant. However, Yakult’s wild ace, Ishii Kazuhisa, threw a no hitter against Yokohama, throwing them into a tailspin that they were unable to recover from the final weeks of the season.

        In order to have any chance of catching Hanshin (notorious for late season failings), the BayStars have got to concentrate all of their effort on not being blanked by the Swallows. For that will be the terminal blow.