Record Breakers

Aoki hits the first of elevenDuring yesterday’s game with the Orix Buffaloes, Tokyo had themselves a remarkable 5th inning. A record breaking inning.

Just three days before, the Chiba Lotte Marines had themselves a remarkable 6th inning of their own, scoring 15 runs and breaking the Japanese record for the most runs scored in an inning.

On Sunday Yakult couldn’t quite manage that, but they did manage to do something that Chiba couldn’t. They got hits in 11 consecutive at-bats for their own new NPB record (for consectutive hits.)

Here’s how the inning transpired (the game was tied at 2-2 going into the 6th):

  1. Aoki pokes one through the middle for a single.
  2. Guiel hits to centre to put men on the corners.
  3. Ihara (pinch hitting for Yuichi) hits a single to left, one run scores and men are on first and second. 3-2 Tokyo.
  4. Miyamoto puts down a surprise bunt but Orix can’t turn the play and he gets himself an infield hit to load the bases.
  5. D’Antona singles to left scoring two runs, 5-2 Tokyo. Miyamoto later steals third to put men on the corners.
  6. Aikawa then also singles to left, one run scores to put men on first and second. 6-2 Tokyo.
  7. Kawashima Keizo hits to left to load the bases.
  8. Takeuchi hits a chopper to first and is safe, one run scores and the bases are loaded again. 7-2 Tokyo.
  9. Tanaka hits to centre, one runs scores and Kawashima is run-down between third and home for out number one. 8-2 Tokyo Men on second and third. With first base open, next man up Aoki is then walked on five pitches to load the bases.
  10. Guiel smacks a huge one into the second tier in right to bring home four runs and clear the bases. His second hit of the inning. 12-2 Tokyo.
  11. Ihara doubles for his second hit of the inning, and the last hit for the Swallows in a record-breaking 6th inning.

So there you have it, a feat every bit as impressive as Chiba’s 15 runs, especially as Lotte’s inning was as remarkable for Hiroshima’s ineptitude (2 HBP, 2 runs scoring on an error) as it was the Marines excellent hitting.

This Tokyo team is undoubtedly the most promising since 2001 (which was the last time they won the CL and Japan Series).

So congratulations to the Swallows. And I expect nothing less than the same every game from here on in!

Guiel after his grandslam hit number 10

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