6/2/10 – Fukuoka (Away)

June 1st, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 6

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: DWLWL

(Yahoo Dome)

With the DH rule in effect, you’d be forgiven for believing that the sacrifice bunt would be a bit scarcer than normal. But then you’d have revealed yourself as being a supporter of a baseball team other than the Tokyo Swallows.

Tonite’s lineup:

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

Ogawa wasn’t kidding when he said he wasn’t going to change anything on his watch. The Tak-bunt lives on!

Tokyo got behind in a hurry with Tateyama allowing two singles before Matsunaka teed off on Tokyo’s starter and added three runs to the home team’s tally. 3-0 Fukuoka.

Tokyo got one back in the second inning though. Iihara’s one out single was followed by a two out single by Aikawa. Tanaka then came through with base hit of his own to keep it close. 3-1 Fukuoka.

Tokyo wasn’t able to get anything going after that. Sac bunts (the second one was a Tak-bunt) in the sixth and seventh innings were unproductive.

The Hawks put things completely out of reach by scoring a single run in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. 6-1 final.

Lee looked reasonably sharp in relief despite giving up a walk to the second batter he faced and promptly getting yanked.

Only Iihara had a multihit game for Tokyo. Tanaka reached base twice (RBI single and BB), and Guiel also touched first a couple times due to his normal diet of walks and getting pegged by inside heaters.

Lee (18.00 ERA), Masubuchi (1.95) and Yoshikawa (11.57) made relief appearances. Yes, Lee and Yoshikawa’s ERAs are correct.

Tateyama (2-4) took the loss for his six and a third innings of work (117 pitches). His ERA is now 3.48 after giving up five runs (three earned) off of seven hits, three K’s, one walk, and one HBP.

Tokyo starts a four game home stand against Saitama and Chiba on Friday at 6pm.

Random notes:

Guiel fouled one off right into the ump’s no-no spot during his at-bat in the eighth.

Yoshikawa has a nice pick-off move. He stranded Akashi about three feet from first to end the eighth inning.

Aikawa is seeing the ball really well right now. He’s not wasting at-bats like he did during the first six weeks of the season. He’s far more dangerous than normal at the moment.

Fukuoka’s caps are dumb. Is there some company rule at SoftBank dictating that at least four inches of airspace must separate the player’s hair and the interior of his cap?

I’ve only seen him pitch once this season, but Fukuoka reliever, Falkenborg, makes people look foolish at the plate. And he has a scary name.

Two Tokyo batters struck out in each of the final three innings of the game.

Guiel leads the league with 14 beanings. Stayed tuned for more.

D’Antona leads the league with four sac flies.

Tokyo lost the interleague series to Fukuoka three games to one.

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

    Leave off the caps! As for Falkenborg, he is pretty tasty. Would be the closer in most teams I imagine, but Mahara has been around for so long that it doesn't really appear to matter that Falkenborg is better than him – Mahara gets to be closer anyway. Not a bad thing to have two closers in a team though.

    Funny old game, baseball. When you saw who was pitching, you would think we'd take yesterday and you'd win today, but I guess same end result (1-1) so doesn't really matter. Must feel good to smash Sugiuchi all over the place every time you face him though!

    Other good news is Wakui pitched today, so he won't be playing Friday or Saturday. Things are looking up: now you have finished playing the Hawks, I can get all excited about the Swallows again!

  • Yep, them caps do look completely stupid, like a bunch of school kids wearing adult caps that are way too big for them.

    But I guess they do go well with the Softbank uniforms, which after all are the worst threads in Japan by some margin.

    • There's company rule at SoftBank that everything they're involved with has to look unmistakably like the most obvious of their ads. I wouldn't mind having the Hawk's win percentage (or some of their players), but big SoftBank bars on the sleeves, yellow and black for colors, “SoftBank” in foot-high letters on the jerseys, caps that stand up like billboards, and yellow fan club tat. . . SoftBank is pushing the limits of what their fans will tolerate, it seems.

      It makes the big yellow registered trademark-looking “R”s painted on the OF at Kleenex Miyagi Stadium look almost tasteful.

    • The old Daiei uniforms were much better, but those old caps are actually arguably worse than the current caps, if such a thing could be contemplated. That stupid green rainbow on the outfield wall is awful, as is the fact that they have a retractable roof stadium whose roof has been opened just once in the past 10 years for a game.