5/2/10 – Yokohama (Home)

May 2nd, 2010

Yokohama Baystars 4

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LLLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Quick quiz: can you actually remember the last time that the birds won a series?

Neither can we.

Starting for the BayStars was Tomokazu Ohka. Yikes.

Tonite’s lineup:

1. Fukuchi LF
2. Miyamoto 3B
3. Aoki CF
4. Iihara RF
5. Takeuchi 3B
6. Fujimoto SS
7. Ueda 2B
8. Aikawa C
9. Muranaka P

Many people were expecting Yoshinori to start, but Takada showed that he was indeed interested, at least passingly, in winning this game. Muranaka started for Tokyo, but it actually might as well have been Yoshinori when all was said and done.

Yokohama plated three runs in the top of the third to make things dire for Muranaka and the home team. Murata brought Ishikawa around for the first run and Castillo added two more a bit later with a shot into the gap in left. 3-0 Yokohama.

Murata extended the lead with his third hit of the game in the top of the fifth. This one was a solo shot to left, his fifth homer of the season, and the score was 4-0 Yokohama.

The birds finally climbed back into it a bit in the seventh with Ooka still on the mound. Takeuchi led off with a solo shot to right that landed in the first few rows of reserved seats before Fujimoto drew a walk to keep the momentum flowing.

But Ueda hit a double play ball that he was fortunately able to outrun to put an out on the board with a man on first. Aikawa very nearly fouled out early in the at bat, but was went down looking at strikes a short time later. Guiel came in to hit for Masubuchi (2 innings, no runs allowed) but he fanned swinging.

And that was about it. Game over. 4-1 Yokohama.

Muranaka took the loss, his fourth, and he now has a 3.89 ERA. He gave up four earned runs in five innings. Other vitals include eight hits, three K’s, and three walks. His record now stands at 2-4. Very unsexy.

Hashimoto (4.26) and Matsui (0.00) also put in relief appearances tonight. It was Matsui’s first game of 2010.

Ohka pitched a pretty solid game. He allowed only one earned run off of six hits in his first appearance back with the BayStars. During the hero interview which followed the game it was revealed that he hasn’t won a game in Japan since 1956 or something like that. Wonderful.

So the birds dropped another series, and  now it’s on to Tokyo Dome to face the orange guys.

Random notes:

Tanaka sat out for the second game in a row while Guiel started on the bench for the first time this season. He came in to pinch hit but struck out in his only at-bat.

Fukuchi came straight back into the starting lineup upon ascension from the farm team. He was 0-4 today. Tateyama went down to the farm to pay for his performance a couple of days ago and make space for Fukuchi.

Mystically, the birds lead the Central in team ERA at 3.34, but they’re still in last place. Call it the Takada effect.

After 11 appearances, Masubuchi has yet to surrender an earned run. He has now thrown 18 and two-thirds innings thus far. The one worrisome stat is that he has just as many walks as strikeouts–13 in case you’re keeping track.

Tokyo didn’t record a single 1-2-3 inning tonight. The sixth was close but not quite.

The birds rarely looked dangerous in this one. They managed only seven hits and were pretty uninspiring all around.

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

  • Fujimoto started tonite despite getting tossed from last night's game. What's the deal on ejections, fines, suspensions, etc. in Japan? No serious repercussions for cuffing an ump in Japan?

    What if it involves an import?

    • I believe he just got a 200,000 yen fine and a severe reprimand. Plus he apologised for laying his hands on the ump, but still maintained he thought he was 100% safe. I like Fujimoto a lot more after that incident.

  • If you're not going to play any sluggers, darn right you're not going to look dangerous.

    • Absolutely, his daily shuffling of the lineup smacks of desperation.