5/12/10 – Orix (Home)

May 12th, 2010

Orix Buffaloes 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LLLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Any hopes for a change in Tokyo’s fortunes with a change in opposition took a hit as they lost their first game of this year’s Interleague schedule to Orix. It was a performance pretty typical of the 2010 Swallows so far: decent pitching, impotent bats, and a lack of luck that saw an extra inning fielding blunder prove decisive. Oh, and Ishikawa failed to win again, though not for the lack of trying.

  1. Fukuchi (LF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Aoki (CF)
  4. D’Antona (1B)
  5. Guiel (RF)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Fujimoto (SS)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

Tokyo took a 2nd inning lead off Orix starter Kondoh, with Aaron Guiel clubbing one deep into the Swallows rightfield bleachers for 1-0 Tokyo. It was Guiel’s 11th for the year, and second in as many games.

Ishikawa let the lead slip in the 4th, with two hits and a sacfly (amazingly) scoring the waddling Cabrera to make it 1-1. After that he gave up two more hits through to the end of the 8th inning, leaving the game with the scores tied having given up just the 1 run off 6 hits, with 2 strikeouts and 1 walk. He wasn’t involved in the final decision, with his record remaining at 0 and 6 with his ERA  now at 4.22. You’ve got to really feel for Ishikawa at this point, and had he had any real run support tonight he would have broke that goose egg in his W column. Tokyo managed just 4 hits (to Orix’s 9) and did not manage a solitary hit through the last 6 innings of play.

After Ishikawa’s efforts, Takada brought in Lim (0.90) who pitched a scoreless 9th. It was then the turn of Oshimoto, who took an L for his prior appearance against the Dragons last Friday. He would do the same again today, though it needn’t have been the case. In the top of the 10th with one out and a man on first, Buffaloes catcher Suzuki layed down a sac bunt attempt which went straight to Oshimoto, and instead of throwing to second to initiate the nailed-on inning ending double play, he threw to first to leave the go ahead runner on second with two outs. Why he did that, who can say. But why catcher Aikawa didn’t yell at him to make the throw to second should be the more pressing question.

Next man up Sakaguchi, who was 2 for 4 to that point, then hit the ball deep to centre and over the head of Aoki for a triple which scored what would be the winning run, 2-1 Orix Final.

Oshimoto took the loss to put his record at  1-3/1.93.

So then, new opponents, same old shit. The two teams meet again tomorrow.

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

  • Kozo

    I think Oshimoto didn't realize that the runner had held up to see if he would catch the ball. I'd have to see the replay, but I think since he was moving towards the first base side, a throw to second would have necessitated throwing against his body in a partially blind manner. With so much to parse in situation like that, I don't fault Oshimoto for taking the sure out at first. I DO fault him for giving up the triple to Sakaguchi.

    One thing I noticed sitting in the outfield was that Ishikawa was getting hit quite hard, but he got a lot of help from the defense tonight. D'Antona, Tanaka, and Aoki all made huge defensive plays.

  • I caught the last few innings of this after the Lotte game. I thought Oshimoto should have had that DP for sure – there seemed to be plenty of time. When the bunt dropped in front of him I thought he was making a real gamer's play to freeze the runner but I guess it wasn't the case.

  • Kozo

    I definitely think that Oshimoto had time to make the throw to get the guy at second. But if he took the time to set and make a proper throw (rather than the awkward throw I describe above), I'm not sure if the relay throw makes it to first on time. That kind of pitcher's fielding play is a lot harder than it looks, and with so many other issues the Swallows are faced, I'm not going to get too bothered about THAT play.

    • I think you're being way to kind to him. By the look on both his and Aikawa's face after the play, I think they knew they'd f'd up.

      But as you say, there are many, many other things of concern at the moment in Swallows-land.

      • Kozo

        Yes they fucked up in that they didn't get the man at second as they clearly could have. But I'm not sure getting two outs on that play was a gimme, and given how things turned out, I'm not convinced that the Birds would have won the game if they had gotten two there.

        • “given how things turned out, I'm not convinced that the Birds would have won the game if they had gotten two there.”

          Now this I can agree with.