8/13/09 — Yokohama (Home)

August 13th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yokohama BayStars 13

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: LLWLL

(Jingu Stadium)

Wow. That was embarrassing.

Takaichi lasted four outs.

Tokyo’s lineup:

1. Fukuchi (LF)
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Aoki (CF)
4. Hatakeyama (1B)
5. Guiel (RF)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. Aikawa (C)
8. Kawashima (SS)
9. Takaichi (P)

A lot of things went wrong tonight. The first bad decision was made by whoever thought that Takaichi was ready to start a game on the first team. He wasn’t exactly effective when he was up on the first team earlier this year, hence his three month visit to the farm team for “readjustment”, and in 12 appearances in the minors his ERA is over four and a half. By my calculations, that works out to somewhere between a 6-7.00 ERA in the pros.

And to make room for him, Nakao was dropped. The poor kid was called up so that he could get precisely Takada's hard at work on a solution to the team's woes.two at-bats in two very critical late-game situations, which it’s probably safe to say he wasn’t prepared for, and then sees his shot go up in smoke after only a week on the top team. Today’s game would have been the perfect opportunity for him to get some game time in. In short, what was the point of bringing him up to begin with?

Another thing that hurt was the fact that D’Antona’s injury is serious enough that he has been dropped as well (which essentially means that he’s on the DL). Could this mean that Barrett will get another shot at the top team?

Anyways, let me briefly describe the damage visited on us by the hot-hitting BayStars.

I think it’s easiest to sum up if we look at the pitchers that made appearances today:

Inning(s) – Pitcher – (ERA) – earned runs

1.1                Takaichi (9.64) 4
1.2 – 5          Hagiwara (4.71) 3
6                   Lee (4.13) 3
7                   Oshimoto (3.00)
8 – 9             Kamada (5.14) 3

[Note: 1.1 equals 1 and 1/3 innings]

There. I think that pretty well sums it up.

The BayStars pounded out 21 hits and looked like a club with a lot of depth today. Even guys with sub-.200 averages were hitting home runs (i.e. Yamazaki and his three run dinger in the ninth), and Yokohama’s starter, Miura, had himself a nice little RBI single in the second.

The Tokyo bats, on the other hand, were kept very, very quiet by Miura despite the two fielding errors committed by Yokohama.

In fact, the only time Tokyo was able to score in this contest was on plays connected to fielding errors. It was pretty weak all around.

Kawashima had a great day at the plate, going 3-4, and Aoki also contributed a pair of singles, but no other starter was able to get a clean hit off of Miura.

All in all, Tokyo was absolutely destroyed by the BayStars, and they lost yet another series against the sixth-place team.

Takada continues to treat these games as though they’re “friendlies” or something and he loves to try out players whom he has recently promoted. The major problem here, of course, is that we have not been able to beat the BayStars this season, so it doesn’t really matter what place in the standings they occupy. Wouldn’t it have been better to bring Takaichi in as a middle reliever after Muranaka started throwing meatballs?

The Swallows better figure something out quickly because they are now off to Nagoya to take on the in-form Dragons this weekend.

The way Tokyo is playing right now, this could definitely be ugly.

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

  • zunlin

    I sincerly hope that this was the bottom of the season.

    2-13 today and much worse 4-12 against “them”… sad indeed

  • While this may not be a cut-and-dried Takada Count contender, his idiocy was certainly on display. If he’s going to keep dicking around and deciding strategy by rolling dice or reading dog turds, or whatever he does in place of thinking, the Swallows should pay us to attend games. How much demonstrable incompetence does someone have to show to get fired? If routine sac-bunting in the first inning weren’t enough, it’s now calling up players for inscrutable reasons and putting the weight of entire games on their shoulders as if beginner’s luck were a reliable method of winning games. If Takada doesn’t particularly care to win games (and it’s not at all clear that that’s a goal of his at all), he should probably move into something that suits his temperament and intellectual capabilities a bit better. Heck, the LDP could use a few good blockheads about now.

  • What an ugly game that was (second one this season that I’ve seen in person). I owe Christopher the money for the pizza since I took off after the bottom of the 8th (and the game got even uglier after that eh, eeks), will pay back next time at Jingu 🙂

  • Mac

    This was my 11th game this season, and foolishly was the one I decided to invite some colleagues along to. I’ve seen some of the painful deafeats by the ‘scum’, but at least with them we have an excuse – the money and the fact they are top. The Baystars are cr@p.

    I was so depressed at the end of this game I had to purchase (yet another) Swallows cap for my collection – a particularly fetching one from the ‘Gothic YS’ logo era – but not even that could ease the pain.

  • flick

    I think it’s time to take Fukuchi out of the starting line-up.

  • Christopher

    Re: demonstratable incompetence before getting fired.

    The answer is limitless. Our manager uses a relief pitcher as a starter with no practice and an unreliable starter as a relief pitcher with runners on (???). Why do you think the BayStars are bottom? Their coaches are abysmal so Takada is quite safe and as long as he doesn’t blow his nose at the wrong time he will remain.

    • I think you’re right there, Christopher. It’s the worst kind of amakudari – no amount of failure or incompetence can defeat the nutty idea that anyone who was once a good player for the Giants must be inherently skilled at coaching, managing, and marketing.

  • Ed

    Yokohama is doing good against Tokyo this season with a 12-4 record. Infact, it is only against the Swallows that the Baystars have been doing all right. In contrast Baystars is 2-13 against the Dragons. I don’t really have an answer to why Baystars play much better against the Swallows than other teams. Must be something about the way Swallows play which suits the Baystars. Or Swallows aren’t motivated when playing Baystars?

    With a Climax Series spot secured, I think Takada will be safe. If anything we might see the end of Brown-Kantoku who has failed to take the Carp in the A-Class spot. Perhaps the end of Mayumi too if Hanshin ends in 5th or 6th. Tashiro is safe and in my view he has improved Baystars since he took over. Baystars are playing more freely under him than when Ohya was the kantoku.

    • Well, Yokohama has a winning record (9-7) against Hiroshima as well.

      That said, yes, there is clearly something about the Swallows that suits the BayStars, or something about the BayStars that the Swallows fail to handle. Looking at what Tokyo’s been doing, I’m inclined to agree that they do not take Yokohama seriously enough.

  • Oh yeah, remember that speed gun contest they had for kids and women outside of the main entrance? In the junior high school division, the top speed was written down as 144km/h, the gun is clearly rigged, but if not, the Swallows gotta sign the kid!

    • . . . and put him on the mound to start immediately, the way things are going these days.