5/9/10 – Chunichi (Away)

May 9th, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9

Chunichi Dragons 0

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LLLLW

(Nagoya Dome)

Do not adjust your screens, that score above really is correct. And that is a “W” up there too.

The previously comatose Tokyo bats finally exploded into life as they snapped their losing streak at 6 with a comprehensive victory in Nagoya. Kyohei Muranaka put in a superb 7 innings and must be thanking his lucky stars that he was the starter to receive the rare gift of run support from his team-mates.

Takada put out the same lineup for the third straight game. Three games which have seen an upswing in Swallows performances compared to the dross of recent weeks. Go figure.

  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. Muranaka (P)

Tokyo wasted no time in getting in the face of Chunichi starter Asakura, with four runs in the top of the 1st. Fukuchi and Tanaka got things rolling with back-to-back singles to put men on the corners for Aoki. He grounded out to short but it was enough to score Fukuchi for 1-0 Tokyo. The under-fire duo of D’Antona and Guiel then lent their assistance in a big way. First D’Antona hit one over the wall in right (no.7 for the year) for 3-0 Tokyo. Guiel then hit one to pretty much the exact same spot (no.10 for the year) and Muranaka found himself with a 4-0 lead before he’d even thrown a pitch.

As if to prove that the top of the 1st was no fluke, four more runs followed in the 3rd, this time off reliever Shimizu. Tanaka led off with a single before Aoki flew out for out number one. D’Antona worked a walk and the Guiel poked one up the middle to score Tanaka and leave men on first and second, 5-0 Tokyo. Miyamoto loaded the bases with an infield single before Fujimoto did the real damage with a base clearing double to left to make it 8-0 Tokyo.

And the final Tokyo run came in the 4th, D’Antona bringing home his third run of the day with a sacrifice fly to centre that saw Fukuchi score, 9-0 Tokyo.

Muranaka finished his 7 innings largely untroubled, throwing 114 pitches and giving up just 3 hits, striking out 5, walking 3 and hitting 1 man for good measure. His excellent outing earned him the win to put his record at 3-4/3.27.

Matsuoka (1.32) did allow two men on base in his 8th inning stint, but got out of it unscathed. Which brought up Lim (1.00) for a rare outing in the 9th (his 9th appearance of the year), and he made light work of it, sitting down the final three Chunichi batters in order to wrap things up for a 9-0 Tokyo Final.

The Swallows outhit the Dragons 13-4 with Tanaka, Guiel and Fujimoto getting 2 hits each. D’Antona and Fujimoto each had 3 RBIs, Guiel had 2 and Aoki the 1.

Hopefully this performance will light a fire in Tokyo’s belly and they will go into the Interleague schedule with renewed optimism and confidence. They have two days off before taking on the Orix Buffaloes for two games from Wednesday (the Interleague series are each two games, with each team playing the other for a series home and away).

Hopefully the change in opposition will see a change in Tokyo’s fortunes, but today was a good start. Onwards and upwards.

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

  • Nice unassisted defensive play by D'Antona in the bottom of the fourth. He snagged Oshima's line-drive and stepped on the bag to double up Wada at first.

    Muranaka's control wavered back and forth from locked in to 'what the…?', but he had his fork and curve working reasonably well, so he stayed out of trouble for the most part. It was good to see him benefit from some bonafide run support. He seemed a little more relaxed than usual on the mound, and he went after guys a little bit for once.

    Morino is hitting like a deity right now. Every time he swings, he makes contact. No whiffage whatsoever. He was thoroughly in control of all four of his at-bats, and of course he came up with three decent hits in the process.

    If Takada stops messing with the lineup every day, I can see the birds faring quite well during interleague play–even if Ishikawa, Yoshinori, and Tateyama don't become more stable during that time.

    I just hope the team can avoid injuries moving forward.

  • zunlin

    I was surprised to not see the usual Tak-bunt in the first after the Fukuchi hit.What a miracle..

    • For those of you who weren't watching the game, it was even better than a no Tak-bunt. Hiroyasu faked the bunt, then pulled back his bat, and hit the ball into right.

  • http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/news/2010/05
    Haha, Takada finally admitted that bunting wasn't the best idea.
    22 times in 19 games, but only scored 5 times.

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