9/29/09 — Hanshin (Home)

September 29th, 2009

Sanshin TigersTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Hanshin Tigers 8

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1     Last 5:  WWWWL

(Jingu Stadium)

Well, no blisters were involved, but that still sucked.

Yoshinori is suddenly the worst starter on the top team.

Tokyo’s lineup:

1. Fukuchi (LF)
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Yuichi (1B)
4. Aoki (CF)
5. Hatakeyama (3B)
6. Guiel (RF)
7. Onizaki (SS)
8. Kawamoto (C)
9. Yoshinori (P)

Even though the Swallows won yesterday’s game, a lot of bad things transpired during that game. Miyamoto got hurt. Aikawa got hurt. I spilled a beer on my leg…twice.

And somewhere along the way, someone decided that the six game winning streak could survive another Yoshinori start.

I must admit that I, too, was foolish enough to think that Takada would completely skip Yoshinori’s turn in the rotation. It seemed like that might be the case for a few days, but…

The 19-year-old was back on the mound for today’s excruciatingly important game two versus the Tigers. And he lasted exactly four innings (94 pitches!).

Lots of walks. That’s how to describe this start. And lots of free runs. I mean, that’s what happens when the pitcher has two fielding errors.

In the first, for example, a lead-off single by Hirano was followed by a one out walk for Toritani and that set the table for a two out Arai rbi double. 1-0 Hanshin after one.

In response, the Swallows stranded two runners in both the first and second frames.

In the top of the third, Hanshin added another run when Toritani’s one out walk was followed by the first Kanemoto double of the evening. 2-0 cats.

Aoki's second two run homer in the last three games.But the birds leveled things in the bottom of that inning when a Fukuchi HBP was followed by a solid Aoki homer to right (his 15th). 2-2.

But Hanshin came right back with four more runs in the fourth with a little help from some more shoddy Yoshinori fielding (error). Back-to-back walks (Hirano and Sekimoto) were followed by back-to-back doubles (Toritani and Kanemoto) to make the score 6-2 and put an end to Yoshinori’s evening.

The Swallows tallied three more hits, and drew three more walks after that, but it wasn’t enough to score any more runs. The Tigers, meanwhile, earned another run in the seventh care of an Arai solo homer (off of Oshimoto, 2.79 ERA), and one in the ninth thanks to a crap, three-hit inning at the expense of Lee (3.34).

Final score: 8-2 Tigers.

Observations:

  • Matsui (3.52) pitched hectic, but ultimately scoreless, fifth and sixth innings.
  • Yoshinori (3.47), who earned his tenth loss of the season (against five wins), gave up six runs but only two of them were earned. All of the misdeeds were his own in this contest. If Takada chooses to start him again it will (hopefully) be because the third playoff spot has already been decided.
  • Hashimoto (1.93) retired all three batters he faced in the eighth.
  • Despite being one of the two heroes of last night’s game, Yuichi struck out three times and proved that it is, just maybe, a little wishful to have him batting third. He did, however, have one hit tonight. That said, how he warrants a start over Iihara is beyond me.
  • Aoki’s 1-4 night put his average at .295. More importantly, he now leads the league with a .391 OBP.
  • Guiel went two for three (two singles) and added a walk as well.
  • Kawamoto also reached base three times by singling and walking twice.
  • Mayumi used both Atchison and Fujikawa with a sizable lead. He and Takada are clearly related.
  • The Swallows were outhit 12-6. Yoshinori’s five walks, one wild pitch, and two fielding errors were not at all helpful.
  • The Swallows’ winning streak was unceremoniously halted at six.

Game three of this series is tomorrow night at Jingu. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM. If the Swallows win, they regain their 1.5 game lead. If the Tigers win, then they will take control of third place in the Central League by a margin of half of a game.

See you there.

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

    It seems Aikawa is out for four weeks (pretty much meaning out for the season) and Miyamoto, although he broke his finger in that unnecessary “konjo” play, is toughing it out and is gonna be suiting up, but he will most likely be warming the bench the rest of the way. Ouch.

    Despite the odds, hopefully we can keep third place tonight!

    • Hey flick.

      You just beat me to the post!

      • flick

        Oops sorry about that.

        Although what it’s about sucks, great post and round-up of the injuries.
        No matter how bad our season gets, reading this blog always makes my day.

      • No worries flick!

        And thanks for the kind words! It’s the contributions from you guys that make running Tsubamegun worth all our time and effort.