7/07/09 – Chunichi (Home)

July 7th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Chunichi Dragons 12

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 2    Last 5: LLWLL

(Jingu Stadium)

Well that wasn’t pretty. Kyohei Muranaka made his first start of 2009 but he had a tough time on his return, add that to the impotent Tokyo bats and throw in a little hapless relief pitching and Yakult had the recipe for a real bloody nose at the hands of the red-hot Dragons.

Muranaka made 22 starts in 2008, with a 6 and 12/4.52 record for the year. Shoulder troubles kept him from making his debut until tonight, but now he probably wishes he’s waited a little longer to make his return. Muranaka gave up five runs off six hits in his five innings of work .

Chunichi took the lead in the 1st inning, Tony Blanco with the timely single to make it 1-0 Chunichi. Kyohei then settled down, not giving up a hit during the 2nd and 3rd innings. But it was in the 4th that the game got away from him and Tokyo, two two-run homers for Chunichi from Koike and Tanishige making it 5-0.

And so it was to the bullpen.

Hagiwara (3.38) gave up a run off two hits in the 6th to make it 6-0 before the wheels truly fell off in the 8th. Having already given up the eighth Chunichi run in the 7th, Ichiba (6.66) gave up four more in the 8th off five hits to make it 11-0 Chunichi.

During the first 7 innings, the Tokyo bats had been held to just three hits by Chunichi starter Nakata. A pitcher who up until today had been very hittable, coming into the game with and ERA of 9.64. Not today though as he truly dominated with eleven Ks for the evening. Not that the Yakult bats put up much of a fight.

Tokyo got their only run in the 8th, fittingly without getting a hit, as a couple of walks and a Tanaka sacfly made it 11-1.

Oshimoto allowed the final Dragons run in the 9th, pinch-hitter Fukuda with his first pro-dinger (in his first pro at-bat no less) and the rout was complete. 12-1 Chunichi Final.

The victory puts Chunichi level with the Swallows in second place, and given the polar-opposite conditions of the teams at the moment, Tokyo won’t be seeing that position again for a while.

The two teams meet again tomorrow evening for game two of the series.

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

  • Rob

    Yikes. Tanishige gets a about three hits a week, and suddenly he gets two homers against TYS in one game?

    Tanaka doubled to lead off the fourth, and TYS 3-4-5 hitters couldn’t get him in. That was a bad sign.

    Tanaka also had some nice plays at second, two to rob Araki.
    He missed another one when Nakata poked the ball just to his left, but Guiel got it quickly and threw to D’Antona for the out at first – a grounder to right.

    Chunichi’s Fukuda has been highly touted, but Oshimoto got ahead of him quickly with two strikes, so I was all set to see his first ichigun strikeout. Alas.
    (But it was still better than the Giants’ rookie who promised to homer in his first AB, no?)

    • Yeah that was a great heads-up play from Guiel to make the throw to first. He’s got quite the arm.