6/12/10 – Rakuten (Away)

June 12th, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 1

Streak: Won 3   Last 5: WLWWW

(Kleenex Stadium Miyagi)

The Swallows now have themselves a three-game winning streak–a feat that first took place back in March after an opening day defeat. That first three-game run was extended to four, but that fourth game was pretty much the peak of the only high point the team has had so far this season.

That said, three games on the trot ain’t too bad. Especially when the third one deals a loss to a guy who goes by the name of Iwakuma.

This afternoon’s lineup:

1. Aoki CF
2. Tanaka 2B
3. Guiel DH
4. D’Antona 1B
5. Iihara RF
6. Aikawa CF
7. Miyamoto 3B
8. Onizaki SS
9. Fukuchi LF

Ishikawa was on the mound for the birds.

With the Eagles doing most of the hitting early on, this looked a bit like a typical uphill battle against Iwakuma and his awsomeness. But the birds finally got to him a little bit in the fifth after Aikawa (who seems to be in a total trance at the plate these days) hit his first of three singles to lead things off.

Some obstruction at the plate and an Aoki single later and the bases were loaded for Tanaka with two outs.

Tanaka's bases loaded single scored the first run.

Tanaka’s infield single scored Aikawa from third. 1-0 Tokyo.

Guiel followed that with a two run single to left (yes, left!). 3-0 Tokyo.

Tohoku replied in the form of a solo home run by Nakamura (his 10th), but that was the beginning and end of the run production for the home team. 3-1 Tokyo.

The Swallows scored their final run in the seventh. Fukuchi drew a one out walk, and Aoki and Tanaka came through with back-to-back singles to right for 4-1 Final.

Ishikawa got his second win of the season–he’s now 2-7 with a 4.07 ERA–on six innings and 101 pitches.

Masubuchi (2.81 ERA), Matsuoka (1.10), and Lim (1.04) faced four batters each while ensuring the win over the final three frames. Lim recorded his ninth save of the season in the process.

On offense, both Aikawa and Aoki had three hits while Tanaka had two RBI-singles of his own. The other two RBIs were collected by Guiel with his single in the fifth.

Game two of this series takes place tomorrow with the first pitch at 1PM.

Random thoughts:

The Swallows were outhit 12-10.

Guiel and D’Antona both struck out three times each.

Of the nine guys on the team with at least 100 at-bats, only four of them have OBPs over .350–Aoki (.383), Tanaka (.379), Guiel (.355), and Aikawa (.354).

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

  • Kozo

    You say “only” 4 players with 100+ AB have OBP over .350, but looking at the rest of the Central League that's not a particularly bad mark. Only the Giants have more, with 5 players over .350. Yokohama, Chunichi and Hiroshima have 3 each, and Hanshin only has 2. Our team OBP isn't good too good (.314), and we certainly don't have pretty batting stats across the board. But looking at individual players' OBP is a good metric to illustrate that fact.