10/12/09 – Yomiuri (Home)

October 12th, 2009

Tokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Yomiuri Giants 3

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5

Streak: Won 6   Last 5: WWWWW

(Jingu Stadium)

The Swallows closed out their regular season with a come from behind win against the Giants, ending their terrible run of losses against Yomuri. Not that this game meant too much really.

Tokyo was as thus:

  1. Noguchi (LF)
  2. Shida (CF)
  3. Hatakeyama (3B)
  4. D’Antona (1B)
  5. Guiel (RF)
  6. Kawamoto (C)
  7. Yoshimoto (2B)
  8. Onizaki (SS)
  9. Yoshinori (P)

Again Takada chose to rest most of his regulars for this meaningless game, with Guiel and D’Antona the notable exceptions.

The game itself was a relatively low key affair. Tokyo took the lead off Giants starter Utsumi in the bottom of the 1st, D’Antona bringing home Shida on a groundout for 1-0 Tokyo.

The game was tied in the 2nd courtesy of a piggy-boy Abe homer run for 1-1.

Yomiuri then took the lead in the 3rd. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Ogasawara, and he hit a grounder to first, with D’Antona fluffing the throw to the covering Yoshinori, which allowed two runs to score and it was 3-1 Yomiuri.

Tokyo made it 3-2 in the 4th via Guiel’s 27th homer of the year.

And in the 8th the Swallows came back to take the decisive lead. A one-out Shiroishi (in for his last game before retirement) double was followed by a walk for D’Antona. After Yuichi flew out for out number two, pinch hitter Kinugawa sinled to bring home one run before Yoshimoto doubled to bring home two and it was 5-3 Tokyo.

And that was about that.

Yoshinori finished with a no-decision to show for his 6 inning, 5 hit, 3 run (2 earned), 7 K and 2 BB performance as his 2009 record ended up at 5-10/3.50.

Hanada, who was also retiring, pitched for one out in the 7th, and got a groundout. It was only his third appearance of the year.

Takagi took the win for his 1 and 2/3 innings of work after Hanada, and his record finishes at 4-0/1.64. He was one of the few bright spots in the latter half of the year and should have a role to play if we make it past Nagoya and to the Climax Second Stage.

Lee worked a hitless 9th with his record finishing at 1-1/3.65 in his 43 appearances this year.

The loss meant that the Giants failed to register 90 wins (which would have been for the first time in over 40 years if they had managed to win tonight), plus Ustumi failed to win his 10th game of the year, which stopped his streak of years with 10 or more wins at three.

The season series ended at 18-5-1 in the Giants’ favour.

After the game, Takada gave a speech. I booed, people told me to be quiet (f*ck them). People cheered Takada, I booed again (f*ck them).

Shiroishi and Hanada had their retirement ceremonies. Nothing too special there and unlike last year (with the likes of Manaka retiring) there were few tears shed.

So Tokyo end up with a 71-72-1/.497 record. They finished 10 games behind the 2nd placed Dragons and 22 behind the Giants. However, they finished 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers which means they’ll be going to Nagoya for a best of three game series against Chunichi starting next Saturday.

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

  • Confused

    Has anyone in the media so bluntly asked “Why is D’antona playing in meaningless games and not full time???” Any word on what his playoff roster status is?

  • Ken

    You not only booed Takada, you yelled “hetakusa!” I booed and yelled “You suck!” a few times. This guy is the worst manager in 5A (4A is the National League), and the fact that the Swallows came in third guarantees he gets another year. I just can’t believe that anyone claps or cheers at the bullshit this man spouts.

  • Charles Moon

    I can’t understand what is going on with D’Antona. This young man’s statistics speak for themselves. I have been a fan of his for several years, and I have been thrilled to see how well he has done in Japan. Now I’m reading that he won’t be back next year at the manager’s discretion. Well, I guess that’s a business decision, though a mighty stupid one if you ask me. Forgetting that, why in the world would anyone be questioning whether or not he would be playing in the CS next week? He has been the starting first baseman for this team all season and has contributed so much to its success. As one of the top ten RBI guys in the league, don’t you think the Swallows could use his run production at this time?

    • Confused

      Obviously we all think and want him to play but he hasn’t been starting for sometime now…what’s to think the manager is going to change his mind now? The manager should be fired!

  • Mac

    I also booed Takada, hurling constructive comments like “Resign” and the more informative “W@nker”. My immediate crowd seemed confused but amused – it was my gaijin contingent that kept telling me to keep it down.

    • Glad to hear we weren’t the only ones.

      Good to meet you too sir.

      Hopefully the Swallows will still be playing ball by the time you get back from your travels!

      • Mac

        If we were the only ones booing then I heard you because I turned to my crew and said “See, someone else who knows the real score”.

        I’ll be back in time for Game 6 of the Japan Series – of course I hope we will have wrapped it all up by then.

        Definitely looking forward to some beers post-season – we’ll all have plenty of free evenings! 🙂

  • Andrew Ondo

    Hello everyone! I’ve been reading your blog all season and got up early to watch the swallows beat the taigazu last friday – my first yakyu game ever! (and I’m definitely going to be setting my alarm clock for our date with Chunichi)

    Thanks for keeping such an entertaining and sincere blog – reading those game reports every morning (with youtube videos of the tokyo ondo playing in the background) have made me as big a swallows fan as you’ll find, I’m sure, in Illinois.

    We’re all pulling for Yakult here on the south side of chicago!
    kutabare chunichi!

    • Glad your first yakyu game was such a good one, Andrew. Give our best to Chicago. I grew up there myself, although I’m a Cubs fan and I’m guessing that, on the South Side, you’re a Sox man (no problem there, though – any fan of the Swallows is a friend of mine.)

  • Anyone going to Nagoya this weekend? I managed to get tickets for Sat and Sun games through an SNS so I’m taking the bus down to Nagoya tomorrow.

    • Nagoya is impossible for me I’m afraid.

      Enjoy yourself Simon! Let us know how you get on.