9/18/09 – Yomiuri (Home)

September 18th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yomiuri Giants 10

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1    Last 5: LLWWL

(Jingu Stadium)

After two long overdue victories on the trot, normal service was resumed tonight as the team did what they nearly always do when facing their local neighbours, they yet again rolled over and became Yomiuri’s bitches.

Tonight saw Muranaka return to start for the first time since then end of August, where he was unceremoniously yanked by Takada after 1 and 2/3 innings of two run baseball against the Carp. Things didn’t look too promising for win number three of the Swallows’ recovery, what with him coming into the game with an 8.25 ERA and not a single win in his five previous starts this season.

And tonight he was, well, Muranaka-like. He started promisingly enough (which is un-Muranaka-like actually) with two perfect innings, but the Giants bats gradually got his number, creating and wasting chances to score in both the 3rd and 4th, and then putting up two runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. Muranaka ended his six innings having given up four runs off eight hits, with four strikeouts and three walks. He would eventually be tagged with the loss to send his record to 0 and 5. His ERA actually dropped to 7.80 which shows that it was an above-par Muranaka performance after all.

Youngster Katoh made his first appearance of his second year as a pro in the 7th, but it was one to forget as he gave up five runs off five hits (including a three-run shot from pig-man Abe) without getting a single out. He was replaced by Matsui (4.77) who got out of the inning without another run scoring.

Yoshikawa (2.70) then pitched the 8th and 9th, giving up just one hit, a Kamei solo homer in the 9th.

Tokyo lined up like this:

  1. Fukuchi (LF)
  2. Keizo (SS)
  3. Aoki (CF)
  4. D’Antona (1B)
  5. Miyamoto (3B)
  6. Ihara (RF)
  7. Tanaka (2B)
  8. Kawamoto (C)
  9. Muranaka (P)

After having woken up somewhat over the last two games, Tokyo’s bats faced Giants starter Utsumi, a pitcher who had shut them out over the distance earlier this month.

And they didn’t fare a whole lot better tonight as Utsumi gave up two runs off six hits in his seven innings of work. Tokyo’s only runs of the game came in the 7th, while down by nine runs at the time. Tanaka and Kawamoto hit consecutive two-out singles, and Hatakeyama (in for Matsui) hit a double to make it 9-2 Yomiuri.

Ochi (0 hits allowed) and Toyoda (1 hit) then worked scoreless 8th and 9th and it was 10-2 Final. Tokyo were outhit 14-7 in the game.

The season series between the two teams now stands at 15-4-1  in the Giants’ favour.

Tanaka (.269) was the only standout with the bat with two hits, with Aoki (.289), Fukuchi (.275), Kawamoto (.147), Hatakeyama (.243) and Muranaka (.125) with the others.

With Hanshin also losing tonight against Hiroshima, the Swallows remain 0.5 games out of 3rd.

The two teams return tomorrow evening for game two of the humiliation series.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • Wow, this game was painful to watch, especially the players depressed and serious faces at the very end of the game.

  • Jingu Bleacher Bum

    I think this year the 3rd playoff team will have a losing record, whatever team that will be….and right now that’s not looking like the Swallows.

  • Interesting choice in bringing Katoh up. He’s not been particularly…good…on the farm team. Last I checked, he had an ERA over five, and that was only a week or two ago. I guess he must have had a good start or two in the meantime…

  • Kutabare Yomiuri

    Last night was a wake up call. The images of the solemn bench , players biting their nails represent the humbling fact that the winning thrill that took place in the past couple days which had been nearly forgotten can be stolen right out from under us. Hiroyasu didn’t go belly up. We will fight. This will not be the humiliation series for us. Today will be a new day. Prediction: swallows outplay the cowards hands down. Win by at least 3. Dominate. It is long overdue and today is the day. No matauoka. No katoh. You gotta have heart. We showed we gotta a little left the other day which is more than the dark side has ever had. And we all gotta have hope. After tonight we will have even more. The moon is in the seventh mother f-n house and the gods of baseball are with us and against them. We will win this series. It shall be done.

  • Rob

    I appreciate your positive perspective, KY!