9/13/09 — Chunichi (Away)

September 13th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Chunichi Dragons 7

Streak: Lost 8    Last 5: LLLLL

(Nagoya Dome)

The Swallows long slide to fifth place continues. Hanshin’s win over Yokohama means that Dave was right, and the birds now find themselves in fourth place at the end of the weekend.Tokyo’s starting lineup:

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

To give you an idea of how rough the pitching has gotten, and part of the reason why the birds can’t win a game, recall back to June and July when the team ERA was in the 3.40-3.60 range. Now it’s above 4.00, and Tokyo’s pitching ranks ahead of only Yokohama who has been in last place all season.

Tateyama started this one for the Swallows and didn’t have one of his better outings. He gave up six runs (four earned) off of eight hits (one home run). He also posted five strikeouts against one walk and saw his ERA climb to 3.54 while the loss set his record at 14-5.

The home team jumped all over Tateyama early with a two out rally in the first. Morino’s walk set things in motion and culminated with veteran Inoue’s bases clearing triple. 3-0 Chunichi.

Aikawa’s single in the top of the second brought Miyamoto around to score to make it 3-1.

But Chunichi had another three hits in the fifth which brought home a pair of runs. 5-1 Dragons.

Guiel responded in the top of the sixth with a solo home run (his 23rd). 5-2 Dragons.

But that would be all from the Tokyo offense as Yamai kept runs off the board during the final three innings of the game.

And the Dragons scored one each in the sixth and seventh innings to ease to a 7-2 final score.

Kida pitched the seventh and gave up two hits (one earned run) to run his ERA back up to 5.55.

Okamoto, in his first appearance of the year, threw a perfect eighth inning on 10 pitches.

Kawashima, Miyamoto, and Aikawa had two hits each, but not nearly enough was done offensively to ever give Tokyo a shot at winning this game.

The birds travel to Yokohama to take on a team that they have not been able to handle this season. Game one of the series is at 6 PM Tuesday evening.

The fifth place Hiroshima Carp are only one game behind the Swallows. With the way that the Swallows’ pitching is working, it won’t be very surprising to see the birds in fifth by Sunday.

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

    According to this article, Takada was asked by the front office to continue managing the team next year, but because of the downward spiral, apparently he put this request on hold.

    • I saw that. After making the wrong kind of team history with the 12 straight series losses, I sincerely hope he does the decent thing.

  • Well I think someone forgot to tell the Swallows that the end of the season is not when you start thinking about vacation. Depressing to see them sink so low. They seemed to be having a decent season before the break and now they can not seem to find a win anywhere.

    Luckly the Red Sox have found their winning ways and at least one of my teams looks to be headed to the playoffs.