6/03/09 – Saitama (Away)

June 3rd, 2009

Saitama Seibu Lions logoTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Saitama Seibu Lions 8

Streak: Lost 2       Last 5: WLWLL

(Seibu Dome)

This game blew.

I’ve been really considerate over the last month with the TAKADA COUNT that was introduced in April. There were several games when he would have added to his tally, but the team won in spite of him.

Tonight, however, the Takada from 2008 reemerged, and thus you have the 8-1 scoreline.

This one was never going to be easy. With Wakui on the mound for Saitama, and Kida somehow getting the nod for Tokyo, things were bound to get messy. It’s just impressive that it took as long as it did.

Credit where credit is due: Wakui had a no-hitter going through three and two-thirds innings. The strike zone was gigantic tonight, and he seemed to have the umpire in a trance.

And while I like Kida (as a middle reliever), keeping guys off base is not really his thing. His RIP was 1.75 for the four innings that he lasted. And it was a miracle that more damage wasn’t done sooner. By the time Kida exited the game, the Swallows were down to the tune of 0-5. The first run came via a Kuriyama sac fly in the third, and the next four were courtesy of a Bocachica grand slam in the fourth.

Yup, another game, another opposition ??????? (manrui home run).

The birds were never really able to get anything going versus Wakui, and Takada made sure to make his share of questionable calls during this very brief game.

Exhibit one: with Miyamoto on first (via HBP), Tanaka is again asked to bunt. As usual, no runs score.

Exhibit two: down 7-0, Takada puts Chang-yong Lim in to pitch the 8th. And he had Igarashi warming up in the bullpen!

We won’t even count the fact that Kida was allowed to start, or that Aoki was told to steal in the first with two outs.

Basically, the gist of things is:

TAKADA COUNT: 2 (and it should be a bit higher, but we’ve been kind)

On the bright side: Hagiwara (1.64 ERA) struck out all three guys he faced in the seventh. Aoki and Tanaka got on base twice.

Tokyo hosts the Eagles on Friday and Saturday. Tanaka pitched this evening (and lost!), so we shouldn’t have to face him again.

But we will have to face Takada.

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

  • You do often wonder if Takada is watching the game at all given some of the calls he makes.

    For a man who’s been in the game for so long, it often appears that he knows sweet F.A.

  • He was a drone in the Yomiuri system. Who knows what the heck he did as GM for Nippon Ham, but as their manager, he did about as much as he’s doing for Tokyo. I will never believe that there’s a good explanation for Nippon Ham’s hiring him as GM after his sub-competent managerial stint there. Likewise, I will never believe that Tokyo has a competent GM after his hiring of Takada and allowing the team to promote him as being widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable people in Japanese baseball. Whatever Takada is knowledgeable about, it is certainly not baseball.