5/15/10 – Fukuoka (Home)

May 15th, 2010

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 3   Last 5: LWLLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

The offensive impotence continues.

Starting lineup:

1. Tanaka 2B
2. Miyamoto SS
3. Aoki CF
4. D’Antona 1B
5. Guiel RF
6. Iihara LF
7. Yoshimoto 3B
8. Aikawa C
9. Nakazawa P

Yoshimoto, as you can see, got the start at third which pushed Miyamoto over to short for the first time this season. Yoshimoto (2-4) ended up being the only player in a white jersey to come up with a multi-hit game with a double in the second and a single in the fourth. Fujimoto was likely sitting this one out as penance for that dropped infield pop fly on Thursday.

But other than drawing a few walks, that’s about all that transpired at the plate for the birds. Miyamoto (0-3), Aoki (0-2, 2 BB), Guiel (0-3, 1 BB), and Aikawa (0-3) all went hitless.

Tokyo’s best chance came in the bottom of the first when Tanaka led off with a single and was Tak-bunted over to second for that all-important first out. Aoki then negated the value of the bunt by drawing a walk, and with two outs, Guiel loaded the bases by doing the same (Tanaka and Aoki had already shifted over on a double steal on D’Antona 3-2 strikeout pitch).

But with two outs on the board, and thus no chance for a sac fly, Iihara tried and failed to hit to the opposite field by grounding out to first to end the threat.

The final scoreline was put together in the second inning when Kawasaki drove in a pair of runs for the visitors to make it 2-0 SoftBank.

Although arguably not a Tak-bunt situation, Takada had Nakazawa bunt with one out and Yoshimoto on first in the fourth inning. This bunt also failed to lead to anything positive as Wada collected the ball quickly and fired to second to start a 1-6-3 double play.

The second inning notwithstanding, Nakazawa (3-2, 1.65) had a decent game. He threw 113 pitches over seven innings and the eight hits that he gave up only led to two runs being scored (both earned). He also mixed in two K’s, three walks, and a wild pitch.

Oshimoto (1-3, 1.80) and Matsuoka (0-1, 1.23) both pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Game two of this short interleague series will be played tomorrow starting at 6pm at Jingu.

Random notes:

Aside from Iihara’s single in the ninth, no Tokyo runners reached base during the final four innings of the game.

Tokyo was outhit 9-5 by the Hawks.

Nakazawa’s 1.65 ERA puts him at the top of the Central League.

The current three game losing streak was preceded by streaks of five and six games. Seven this time?

Takada Count: 5

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

  • Andy G

    Nice report, Chris. I thought Nakazawa pitched pretty well to be honest. Apart from the 2nd inning, the only other hairy moment he had was when Kawasaki grounded out in the 6th with the bases loaded. That apart, the Hawks never remotely looked like scoring. Unfortunately, neither did the Swallows. Made Wada look good, despite the fact he has been struggling all season and seemed terrified to pitch any strikes in the first three innings.

    I thought the most depressing part of the game was in the 9th, when Guiel was facing Mahara and just flung his bat at everything, regardless of how far out of the strike zone it was. The guy is clearly struggling. Hope they can turn it around soon or it is going to be a very long season.

    • Kozo

      Guiel actually hit the ball quite well prior to that last at-bat, launching two balls to the warning track that just didn't carry far enough for the homer. But I've noticed how Aaron and Jamie both seem to get away from themselves in the final innings. Everyone expects them to hit it out, so they end up swinging at absolute junk.

      Also, on a completely random note, Jamie D'Antona sported a new clean-shaven look with high socks, and new entrance music (still hillbilly country though).

  • Each game is like a copy of the last offence-wise for the Swallows. Get a hit an inning early on but never really threaten, and then get completely shut down in the latter half of the game.

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