7/29/09 – Hiroshima (Home)

July 29th, 2009

Hiroshima Carp logoTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 10

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Streak: Lost 1     Last : WWWWL

(Jingu Stadium)

Everything seemed a little off-balance tonight.

After starting the second half of 2009 with a surprisingly easy win last night, the Tokyo Swallows couldn’t hold on to an early-innings lead in game two of the series versus the Hiroshima Carp.

And that was mostly due to the fact that Tokyo starter, Ryo Kawashima, couldn’t contain the Hiroshima bats. In a bit of a continuation of last night’s defensive sloppiness (on Hiroshima’s part), Tokyo aided the visitors’ cause with a couple of fielding errors of its own, one each by Miyamoto and D’Antona in the fourth inning, as the birds helped to create some of their own pain. It was Miyamoto’s second, and D’Antona’s fifth, error of the season, and it helped Hiroshima to post four runs (all of them unearned) on the board in the fourth inning.

Kawashima lasted only three and two-thirds innings in his 13th start of the season. He threw 65 pitches, gave up five hits and three earned runs, and saw his record devolve to an even 5-5 with a 3.91 ERA.

Tonight’s lineup, with the exception of Ryo, looked exactly like last night’s:

1. Aoki (CF)Please stop worrying about your average, Aoki.
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Fukuchi (LF)
4. D’Antona (1B)
5. Guiel (RF)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. Aikawa (C)
8. K. Kawashima (SS)
9. R. Kawashima (P)

After dropping behind in the top of the second via a Kurihara solo home run, Aoki answered with his own long ball over the wall in left to make it 3-1 Tokyo.  Both Kawashimas had previously drawn walks, and the three-run dinger was his 8th of the season. That ties him with Keizo Kawashima (of all people) for third on the team as far as home runs go.

But Hiroshima bounced right back with a couple more runs in the third to tie the game up.

And then, as mentioned earlier, Tokyo managed a very uncharacteristic two defensive errors in the same inning to help Hiroshima put up four runs and take a commanding 7-3 lead. Kida (5.59 ERA) came on for the final out of that inning, but it took him five batters to record it.

Tokyo threatened in the bottom of that inning, but a two-out single by Aoki ended with Aikawa getting thrown out at home. Oops.

Hagiwara (3.77) pitched the fifth and sixth innings and got hit pretty hard. He gave up five hits and three runs. 10-3 Hiroshima.

Tokyo salvaged a little bit of pride in the bottom of the seventh when it put together another three runs. Fukuchi singled and then was brought home on a D’Antona double. D’Antona went 1-3 with an rbi and two walks.

Miyamoto then went yard to make it 10-6 Hiroshima. It was Miyamoto’s fourth home run of the season.

And that’s how it ended. Hishimoto (2.38), Oshimoto (3.00), and Lee (3.06) pitched the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, respectively.

On offense, Aoki was the standout going 3-5 with a home run and three rbi’s. The only other Tokyo player with a multi-hit game was Fukuchi. D’Anona reached base three times, and Guiel reached twice.

I’d like to point out that Guiel is paying attention to the site. In his Tokyo’s Imports post from yesterday, I speculated that he was trying to avoid getting beaned quite so often this year, and that was helping him to avoid injury (which is the strategy that we here at Tsubamegun support). By comparison, in 2007 and 2008, you could throw the ball at his ear and he wouldn’t budge.

However, he obviously read that post and thought that I was calling his manhood into question. He responded this evening by getting plunked in the third inning.

Thanks for visiting the site, Aaron.

The final game of the series is tomorrow night, weather permitting, at Jingu. The game is scheduled to start at 6pm. Tokyo leads the season series versus Hiroshima nine games to four.

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

  • flick

    Great picture of Ryo Kawashima.
    Really sums up my feelings for him, in that I really question his heart and balls more than anything.
    Although I have the same name (same kanji too), he is fastly becoming one of my least favorite bird. Hope he changes my mind…

    • I feel torn about Ryo.

      On the one hand he has undoubted talent, and when he manages to get his shit together he looks an immensely talented pitcher (though he hasn’t shown much of that either this season or last).

      On the other hand, these last few seasons, when he has managed to stay injury free, he’s just looked off. Like something’s not quite right with him. And often of late he just looks plain bad and not up to the task.

      Maybe it is as you suggest a lack of heart and application. But whatever it is, he’s definitely a Jekyll and Hyde kind of pitcher, and these days we’ve been seeing a lot more of his bad side than good.

      Hopefully he can sort it out and prove himself truly worthy as a pro-starting pitcher.