10/2/09 – Hiroshima (Home)

October 2nd, 2009

Hiroshima Carp logoTokyo Yakult Swallows cap

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 5

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 3       Last : WWLLL

(Jingu Stadium)

With Hanshin having a day off today, Tokyo had a chance to move level with the Tigers in 3rd place with a win this evening. As it turned out, it was a win that they couldn’t manage, with the loss to the 5th placed Carp shrinking the gap from 3rd to 5th in the CL with just a week of games left to play.

Tateyama started for Tokyo seeking his 16th win of the season, and while he put in a decent seven innings of work, giving up two runs off six hits, striking out four and walking one, he never got enough run support as he didn’t end up featuring in the final decision. He didn’t get the run support primarily because Hiroshima’s starter Maeda was that little bit better, giving up just one run off two hits with seven Ks in his six innings of work.

Takada’s Tokyo lined up like this:

  1. Fukuchi (LF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Miyamoto (3B)
  4. Aoki (CF)
  5. D’Antona (1B)
  6. Yuichi (RF)
  7. Onizaki (SS)
  8. Yoneno (C)
  9. Tateyama (P)

You will notice that with catcher Aikawa out it’s a return to the dark days of 2008 with the equally useless duo of Kawamoto and Yoneno taking it in turns to be inept behind the plate. Tonight it was the turn of the latter.

Also, Guiel’s continually shitty treatment by the “manager” is now becoming a joke. Takada didn’t even have the “he can’t hit lefties” excuse tonight as Maeda is of the other persuasion. How he can leave the team leader in doubles, home runs and slugging percentage on the bench for such key games is beyond me. (Unless he’s injured, something I’ve read nothing about).

Hiroshima took an early lead in the 1st. Higashide led off the game with a single and was brought home two outs later by a Kurihara single to left for 1-0 Hiroshima.

Tokyo didn’t manage a hit off Maeda until a leadoff single from Onizaki in the 3rd. A walk and an error would eventually load the bases for Miyamoto with two outs, but he could only strike out and the runners were stranded.

Tateyama then threw hitless 4th, 5th and 6th innings before the Swallows finally drew level in the bottom of the 6th. Tanaka led off the inning with a walk and then was moved to second by a Miyamoto sacbunt. Aoki struck out before D’Antona hit one up the middle to bring home Tanaka and make it 1-1.

But the Hiroshima lead would be restored in the top of the 7th, with a Kida Go single and a Shima  double making it 2-1 Hiroshima.

The Swallows showed some fight by pulling back level again in the bottom of the same inning, though it should have been more. A one-out Yoneno single, a Hatakeyama (in for Tateyama) walk and a Fukuchi infield single loaded the bases for Tanaka. Erm, wait. Not Tanaka, as for some reason Takada switched the second baseman for Noguchi. He was 0 for 2 with a walk in his three at bats to that point.

I’ve no idea if Tanaka was injured but, like Guiel, Tanaka has been effed around something proper by our esteemed manager and quite frankly, I’m sick of it:

TAKADA COUNT: 14. For continual unnecessary tinkering and abuse of the kind of players that really don’t deserve it. This is for the continual Guiel benching and treating Tanaka (one of the brightest younger players on this team may I add) like your personal bitch throughout a lot of this season. Even if Tanaka was injured, this one stands for repeated misdemeanours and due to the fact that it’s late in the season and I’m pretty much sick to the back teeth of your perpetual cluelessness not to mention your soulless overly blinky expression while watching your team eff up yet again. GET THE F*CK OUT OF MY BALLCLUB!! NOW!

Edit: I believe Tanaka was injured running home in the 6th, though the above point, and thus the Takada count increase, remains.

Noguchi ended up flying out to centre, enough to bring home one run for 2-2. Next man up Miyamoto did also and the inning was over.

Hiroshima took the lead for good in the 8th with the latest in the line of Tokyo’s “screw up and then take it up the tailpipe” series for 2009. Lee came in to pitch in relief of Tatayama, and gave up a lead off single to the ever irritating pensioner Takuro Ishii. Next man up Amaya layed down a bunt straight to Lee, but instead of making the out at first he threw one about two metres to the right of second and he had himself an error and the Carp had themselves runners on the corners with no outs.  Lee departed, Oshimoto entered, and he left his third pitch to Kurihara up in the zone and the wolf-man-like first baseman crushed one just right of the left foul pole and it was 5-2 Hiroshima. A Noguchi error at second and a steal put another runner in scoring position but a double play left him there.

Tokyo were done, managing nothing of note against Schultz in the 8th or Nagakawa in the 9th, 5-2 Hiroshima final.

The Swallows were outhit 9-5, and Kurihara brought home four of the five Carp runs.

Lee took the loss to put his record at 1-1/3.86. Tateyama’s record remains at 15 and 6 with his ERA now at 3.56.

Jamie D’Antona appeared to pull up after running to first after hitting a grounder to third in the 8th inning. He was replaced by Shida and looks to have further aggravated his thigh injury.

Tokyo now sit one game behind Hanshin, with Hiroshima a further game behind the Swallows.

Tomorrow’s trip to Koshien to face the Tigers is looking to be a huge one. Especially with two games at Jingu versus the Swallows’ Kryptonite, Yomiuri, to follow. Masanori Ishikawa will be the starter for tomorrow’s game.

In fact, either Ishikawa or Tateyama will be the only starters to face Hanshin during their three remaining games against the Swallows. The stakes are high.

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

  • Should have mentioned this was the last meeting this year between the teams, with the season series tied at 12-12.

  • Rob

    One more candidate for the Takeda count (if we can add more than one point per game): Shima’s go-ahead double. Shima hits left-handed and he’s a more of a power hitter than a slap-hitter. But Iihara was playing him very shallow? Hello? Positioning that out of the ordinary usually comes from the bench, so I don’t hold that against Iihara.

    But aside from that, we absolutely did not deserve to win this game. That’s annoying to see. If we get beat, that’s one thing, but if we throw the game away with errors, odd substitutions, and other wackiness, it’s much harder to take.

    • I think it was Yuichi in right not Ihara (he’s injured) but your point remains a valid one.

      Now the injury list includes:

      Miyamoto (3B)
      Aikawa (C)
      Ihara (OF)
      Keizo (SS)
      D’Antona (1B)
      Tanaka (2B)


      • Rob

        Oh, wow – Yuichi in right – that so totally did not register. My eyes saw it, but my brain discounted it – “you must be messed up, eyes!” Oh, man….