4/30/10 – Yokohama (Home)

April 30th, 2010

Yokohama BayStars 7

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Streak: Lost 5   Last 5: LLLLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

OK. Right. That sucked. Hard.

Tokyo went up five-nil in the first, but they couldn’t notch a ‘W’ today. Holy crap.

The lineup:

1. Tanaka 2B
2. Miyamoto 3B
3. Aoki CF
4. Guiel RF
5. Iihara LF
6. Takeuchi 1B
7. Fujimoto SS
8. Aikawa C
9. Tateyama P

Tokyo starter, Tateyama (2-1, 3.86), sat the front end of Yokohama’s lineup down in order in the first, and then his teammates, amazingly, proceeded to tack five runs on the board without too much effort. Tanaka singled to start and then Miyamoto bunted him over (unnecessarily, as it would turn out) to put an out on the board and a runner on second for Mr. Aoki.

Aoki singled to bring Tanaka home, and that was followed by a Guiel pop-fly to the catcher that, if not for some startling idiocy by Yokohama’s catcher, Takeyama (he threw the ball straight into the ground on its way to first), Aoki would have been doubled up on the hit and run.

Anyway. That didn’t matter so much because Iihara singled to keep things alive, and then Takeuchi cleared the bases with a double to make it 3-0 Penguins.

Fujimoto then cuffed his first homer of the season with Takeuchi on second to make it a surprising 5-0 birds with Miura shaking his Elvis-like head on the mound.

But before you get excited, Tsubamegun would like to take this moment to remind you that this is Takada’s Tokyo Swallows we’re talking about here.

Tokyo starter, Tateyama, managed to keep the Yokohama bats almost completely muted through four innings, but the fifth got ugly in a real hurry. Sledge and Castillo reached base to allow Shimozono to bring home the visitor’s first run. The following batter, Takeyama, brought home the two remaining runners with a homer to left to make it 6-4 Tokyo.

Yup, that’s how quickly this one got out of hand.

Sorry, I skipped Takeuchi’s towering shot to right-center in the third (against the wind, no less), but it would end up making little difference. Sledge clubbed a similar two run dinger in the sixth to tie things up, and Yokohama scored the winning run in the seventh when Murata recorded his second single of the night, this time off of Matsuoka, to plate the final run which put Yokohama up 7-6.

Grrr.

And that was about it.

Matsuoka took the loss for that fateful three-hit, 26 pitch, disaster of a seventh inning. Tateyama escaped the blame despite giving up six earned runs.

The birds are in deep, deep trouble right now as they look like the horse at the races that is just being started in order to keep their fitness up. I wouldn’t recommend betting on them, and neither would their trainer, so to speak.

The whole outfit is a bit off-kilter at the moment, but never fear…Takada will absolutely, positively steer this team to a .460-.490 finish this season. Yahoo!

Tokyo is now 11-17-1 and in last place in the Central.

Ho. Lee. Crap.

Come on now. Cry with me.

Random notes:

Aikawa broke out of character a bit and came up with two hits today (both singles.)

Tanaka, Aoki, and Iihara had two hits each as well. (Aoki notched one RBI.)

Takeuchi continued to make matters bleak for D’Antona as he was a triple short of the cycle with three RBIs while starting at first.

Fujimoto also hit a home run, his first of the year, a two run shot in the bottom of the first.

Masubuchi put another inning in, in his 10th appearance of the year, and still sports a blank ERA. The farm boy is for real it seems; at least in middle relief.

Tokyo put up 10 hits and six runs in the first three innings but still couldn’t seal the deal. Nice.

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