8/19/09 — Hanshin (Home)

August 19th, 2009

Sanshin TigersTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Hanshin Tigers 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 1     Last 5:  LLWLW

(Jingu Stadium)

After regaining his spot in the first team rotation, Tateyama pitched a decent seven innings and helped Tokyo take a game from the visiting Hanshin Tigers.

The bookends of the win.

Tokyo’s lineup:

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

Tateyama was not dominating, but as usual he showed an ability to get guys to make mistakes at the plate when he was in a jam. He allowed 10 baserunners in his seven inning, including nine hits and a single walk, but he frequently got guys to ground out to escape from the inning. The two earned runs caused his ERA to budge slightly to 3.37, and the resulting win improved his record to 13-3.

His run support started right in the first inning when consecutive singles by Fukuchi, Aoki, and Hatakeyama loaded the bases for Iihara with one out. Iihara then ended up taking one for the team, but the plunking ended up earning him an rbi as Fukuchi trotted in from third on the play. 1-0 Tokyo.

The Tigers came back in the top of the second with some singles of their own and put a run on the board, but a one-out sac bunt helped limit the damage. 1-1.

Hanshin then added a run in the fourth when Kanou (C) brought the runner home with a one-out double to left. 2-1 Hanshin.

With a retooled middle third of the lineup, accompanied by other issues, the birds weren’t able to get anything going after that until the bottom of the seventh when Tateyama had just thrown his last pitch.

Noguchi led off with a single to center before Tanaka was asked to resume his bunting duties. However, a Iwata beaned three batters--two of them with the bases loaded.whole lot of fielding craziness ensued, and an error left Tanaka on base and gave Aikawa a chance to bunt as well. Somehow the second sac bunt fooled the Tigers defense as well, because Aikawa reached base and the bases were loaded with no outs.

In a repeat of the first inning, Iwata beaned the next batter, Kawashima in this case, and Noguchi loped in from third for the leveling run. 2-2.

With the bases still juiced, one out, and Fukuchi at the plate, Tokyo’s left fielder was able to put a sac fly deep enough into right field for Tanaka to score from third. Aikawa also moved over to the corner on the play. 3-2 Tokyo.

And just to add insult to injury, Hanshin starter Iwata threw a wild pitch to allow the third run of the inning to make it home from third. 4-2 Swallows.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win, and the lads in the dugout were as happy as ever.

Igarashi (2.53) pitched the eighth inning for Tokyo, and after letting three runners reach base care of a pair of hits and a beaning he got utility man, Katsuragi, to ground into a double play.

Lim (0.58) then took the mound to try and get the save. He allowed his obligatory baserunner with a two-out beaning of Akahoshi, which means that Hanshin outbeaned us 3-2 in this game, but got Hirano to pop up to right field to end the game. The save was Lim’s 25th of the season.

Game three of the series is tomorrow night at 6pm at Jingu stadium. Tokyo will likely put Yuuki on the mound for that game, so the key is going to be run support.

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