6/5/10 – Saitama (Home)

June 5th, 2010

Saitama Seibu Lions 6

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LWLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo put up quite a fight, but in the end didn’t quite have enough to earn their first series win since the beginning of April.

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Guiel (RF)
  4. D’Antona (1B)
  5. Takeuchi (LF)
  6. Aikawa (C)
  7. Miyamoto (3B)
  8. Fujimoto (SS)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

The Swallows were facing Lions’ starter Hsu, and all the scoring in the first 5 innings came by way of the solo homer. Kataoka led off the top of the 1st with a solo shot for 1-0 Saitama before the red-hot Aikawa evened things up in the 2nd (no.3 for the year) for 1-1. And the scores remained tied until the 5th when firstbaseman Hirao joined in the party with a homer of his own to put Seibu ahead 2-1.

The wheels started to fall off for Ishikawa in the 6th, as he gave up a double followed by two singles which put the scores at 3-1. That was it for Masanori as he was replaced by Ryo Kawashima from the bullpen, with men on first and second and no outs on the board. He got Takayama to hit into a double play which left a runner on third, a runner who eventually made it home from a GG Sato single which made it 4-1 Saitama.

Tokyo pulled two back in the 7th, with an Aikawa walk, a Miyamoto single being followed up by a sac bunt from Fujimoto, which set the table for pinch hitter Ueda who hit a two-run double to make it 4-3.

Only a single and a Hosokawa homerun off Oshimoto in the 8th put the lead back at three as the Lions made it 6-3.

The Swallows stranded two in the 8th before a late rally in the 9th. A two-run homer from Aaron Guiel (no.15 for 2010) pulled them back into touching distance of the Lions, but they would come up just short as the game ended 6-5 Saitama Final.

Ishikawa took his first loss since May 4th (since when he’s had a ND, ND, Win) to put his record at 1-7/4.29.

So then, that long overdue series win will have to wait, but the way the Swallows fought right to the last this afternoon perhaps wouldn’t have happened last month. Things are certainly moving in the right direction, and given the kind of season that it’s been so far, that’s a very good thing.

They’ll be facing the Chiba Lotte Marines at Jingu for two games starting tomorrow afternoon.

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