4/28/10 – Hanshin (Home)

April 28th, 2010

Hanshin Tigers 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Streak: Lost 3   Last 5: LWLLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Ishikawa took the mound for the birds in an attempt to finally get a win after seeing his record wander to a dismal 0-4 mark to start the season. But he wound up having a rough first inning, and Tokyo ran into a very solid Kubo, as Hanshin managed to heap more pressure on Ishikawa by handing him his fifth loss of 2010 (he recorded seven losses in all of 2009).

Tokyo’s lineup:

1. Tanaka 2B
2. Miyamoto 3B
3. Aoki CF
4. Guiel RF
5. Iihara LF
6. Yuichi 1B
7. Morioka SS
8. Aikawa C
9. Ishikawa P

You’ll notice that D’Antona is conspicuous by his absence from this lineup. As detailed in this article, he has been less productive at the plate recently and  Takada has a history of being impatient when D’Antona’s numbers tail off.

But the real story was Hanshin’s starter, Kubo (3-2, 3.16). He was perfect through five and two-thirds innings, and only allowed four hits and two earned runs (solo home runs by Aoki and Takeuchi) through eight. He gave up a couple of hits in the ninth, but Fujimoto’s sac fly only bought back a single run as the righty notched a complete game victory on 121 pitches.

Ishikawa (0-5, 4.66), on the other hand, gave up three earned runs off of 10 hits (including a two-run Toritani homer) in six innings of work. All three runs came in the first inning. He struck out three and didn’t issue any walks.

Takagi (0-1, 5.06) also got abused during his two innings of middle relief. He surrendered four earned runs care of a Johjima three-run long ball in the seventh, and a leadoff, pinch-hit Kanemoto solo shot in the eighth. Hashimoto (1-0, 8.10) allowed a towering two-run Brazell homer in the ninth.

Aoki definitely gets the nod for best bat on the Tokyo bench today. He went 2-4 with a home run (his fourth), and a grounder to center that he stretched nicely into a double.

Random notes:

Aoki’s vitals continue to impress: .355 BA/.430 OBP/.533 SLG.

Guiel is currently hitting .228/.383/.543.

D’Antona clocks in at .242/.294/.475.

Iihara leads the league in beanings (6). He was hit once tonight.

Fujimoto leads the league in sac flies (3). He brought home Tokyo’s third run in the ninth by forcing a very nice catch by Sakurai at the warning track in right.

Johjima Tak-bunted in the third (something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do before). As per the expected runs matrix, no runs scored. He is currently hitting a dismal .229/.265/.385.

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