8/7/09 — Yomiuri (Away)

August 7th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 7

Yomiuri Giants 10


Streak: Lost 3   Last 5: LWLLL

(Tokyo Dome)

The birds fought back pretty hard, but boy oh boy this was a rough one.

Tateyama got hit pretty hard.

Tokyo’s lineup:

1. Aoki (CF)
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Iihara (LF)
4. D’Antona (1B)
5. Guiel (RF)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. Aikawa (C)
8. Kawashima (SS)
9. Tateyama (P)

The whole bunting-in-the-first-inning thing has worked reasonably well so far this season, but the run scored early on didn’t make a whole lot of difference. Thank you, Iihara, for the run-scoring base hit. 1-0 Swallows.

But Yomiuri would come back with four runs in the bottom of the first to mark the beginning of a phenomenally ugly outing for Tateyama which included five hits in that inning–easily his most painful start of the last year. 4-1 Yomiuri.

Tokyo got one back in the sixth on an Iihara solo home run (his third round tripper and second hit of the game), but Yomiuri had a big half just a little later.

To set the tone, Abe led off with a solo home, his 14th, just to set the tone. Then, with two men on, Sakamoto hit his 13th of the season into the stands in left. Two home runs in the same inning. 6-2 Yomiuri.

Then Kida came on to replace Tateyama. It didn’t work out very well.

Matsumoto found his way on base with a single before Ogasawara hit the inning’s third home run, this one his 14th, to make it 10-2 orange twerps.

The Swallows would come back with a bit of a surprising burst in the eighth inning when Micheal Nakamura (yes, his first name is spelled correctly) let Iihara (his third hit of the game) and D’Antona reach base with consecutive singles before he was able to record the second out. Fukata came in to give up a bases-loading walk (to pinch-hitter, Hatakeyama) before another pinch-hitter, the free-swinging Kawamoto, boomed one into the left field bleachers. Surprise grand slam.  10-6 home team.

And the birds were able to squeeze one more out of the game in the ninth when Aoki’s single was cashed in on Noguchi’s (welcome back!) rbi hit. 10-7.

But that was as close as Tokyo was able to get.

The best night on offense was definitely performed by Iihara who had two rbi’s off of his 3-5 game.

The only other player with a multi-hit game was D’Antona who went 2-4.

Tateyama (3.41) ended up with his third loss of the season while giving up eight earned runs off of 10 hits. He had six K’s, one walk, and a single HBP, but it took him 104 pitches to get through five and one-third innings.

Kida (5.74) finished up the sixth while Hagiwara (4.26) and Oshimoto (2.91) pitched the last two innings without conceding any more runs.

Ugh. That wasn’t fun.

The saga continues tomorrow night when game two of the series kicks off at Tokyo Dome. 6pm. Can’t wait.

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