Injuries Ahoy! (aka don't dive into first)

The current key series with the ever-lovable (cough) Hanshin Tigers is proving to be a costly one, even if Tokyo do manage to take tonight’s game to win the series.

Miyamoto inflicts damage (on himself)

During Monday’s 7-1 victory for the Swallows, catcher Ryuji Aikawa injured his back while at bat in the 6th inning, and was replaced by back-up Kawamoto for the rest of the game.

AikawaAfter a trip to hospital Aikawa has been diagnosed with a muscle tear and will be out for some four weeks. So that pretty much means his season is over, unless his recovery goes well and Tokyo make the Climax Series Second Round (unlikely) or the Swallows make it all the way to the Japan Series (all but impossible in the absence of divine intervention).

This is a pretty big blow to the team, especially behind the plate (Aikawa is a cut above the other catchers at Tokyo in this regard) but also with the bat (Ryuji is the only Tokyo catcher even remotely capable of hitting .250).

Another piece of shitty news is that team linchpin Shinya Miyamoto managed to fracture his right thumb in the in the 3rd inning of the same game, while needlessly head-sliding in to first base. Given that he is the only regular first-teamer to be hitting north of .300 (though Aoki will be there within days) and the vast steadying influence and experience he brings to the infield, his loss is another large one for the team as they enter the final stretch.

However, unlike Aikawa, Miyamoto will not be removed from the active roster as he will try to contribute (likely from the bench) to the chase for an A-class finish, pain or no pain.

Weather permitting, Tokyo will take on Hanshin again at Jingu this evening after which their run in looks like this:

Friday 2nd: Hiroshima @ home (Shohei Tateyama due to start)

Saturday 3rd: Hanshin away (Masanori Ishikawa due to start)

Sunday 4th: Yomiuri @ home

Monday 5th: Yomiuri @ home

Tuesday 6th: Yokohama away

Wednesday 7th; Yokohama @ home

Thurday 8th: Hanshin @ home (Shohei Tateyama due to start)

Friday 9th: Hanshin @home (Masanori Ishikawa due to start)

Sunday 11th: Chunichi @home

(Note: I’m not sure how accurate the pencilled-in dates are for the Tateyama/Ishikawa starts so take them with a pinch of salt. They were announced by the team a week or so ago, but according to some reports, Tateyama is due to start tonight’s game instead of October 2nd, and given the state of flux in which Tokyo’s rotation exists, they are unlikely to be kept to)

Not long to go now and it’s still very close from 3rd-5th so wish us luck! (Unless you’re a Hanshin fan in which case YOU CAN BURN IN HELL!!!!!…I jest)

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

  • Rob

    Miyamoto’s slide was mystifying. Which is faster – running or sliding? The ONLY time you slide into first is if you’re avoiding a tag. He knows this! Ngah….

    • Mystifying is the perfect word for it.

      • Fabian

        Stupid would be an even better word, since there was no tag and therefore no reason at all to slide head-first. If a rookie does this, you may turn a blind eye to it, but from a player with 15 years of Pro baseball experience you expect better than to do such a risky maneuver at this time of the season.

      • Quite probably.

        But Shinya has earned more than enough of my respect over the years that I would never call him stupid.

  • With Keizo Kawashima also still out, the infield is looking remarkably different these days!

    Just to recap:
    Jamie D’Antona (1B) — leg injury has kept him benched most of the time
    Shinya Miyamoto (3B) — fractured thumb on his throwing hand will mean, like D’Antona, he’s limited to one at-bat per game
    Keizo Kawashima (SS) — still working through an injury down on the farm team
    Ryoji Aikawa (C) — out for the season (probable) with a back strain

    Will Tanaka be next?!

    This is a huge opportunity for guys like Takeuchi, Yuichi, Onizaki, Yoshimoto, Hatakeyama, and Noguchi. I would throw Iihara’s name in there as well, but he has shown us repeatedly that he can’t play third.

    Anyways, it goes without saying that some of these guys really need to step up offensively and fill the gaping hole left by the four guys mentioned above. I’m specifically thinking about Noguchi and Takeuchi who have lost starts due to the hot-hitting Yoshimoto and Onizaki.

    All things considered, I think it’s safe to say that the team’s prospects just got a bit dimmer.

    • Rob

      Oh, good – I mean, not good, but I thought D’Antona was only pinch-hitting because he was in the doghouse.

      I was happy to see TYS come back and win Monday, but then I remembered, wait, we lost our starting catcher and SS/3B in the same game. Much less happy.

  • flick

    Woah, both Shinya and Jamie are starting today!

  • It seems Miyamoto is a lot tougher than we gave him credit for as he’s starting tonight’s game at shortstop!