7/16/10 – Hanshin (Home)

July 16th, 2010

Hanshin Tigers 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Streak: Won 6  Last 5: WWWWW


Continuing a streak that began against the Tigers on July 8th, the Swallows managed to win their season-high sixth straight game tonight on the back of a timely two-run triple by Aikawa and a solid five-hit, one-run seven innings from Ishikawa.

The win puts a little breathing room between Tokyo and 5th-place Hiroshima.

The starting line-up:

Don't mention it or you'll jinx it.

1. Aoki
2. Tanaka
3. Iihara
4. Whitesell
5. Hatakeyama
6. Aikawa
7. Noguchi
8. Fujimoto
9. Ishikawa

For Hanshin, Toritani led off with a single on a ground ball to shallow left center, got to second on a Hirano sacrifice, then scored on single by Murton. A Fujimoto error let Murton make it to second, but the Birds got out of the inning with no further harm done and the score 1-0 Hanshin.

Hanshin starter SHimoyanagi seemed determined to help the home team catch up to his own visitors, though. After getting Aoki to ground out, he walked Tanaka and Iihara and hit Whitesell to load up the bases for Hatakeyama, who delivered with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game.  Aikawa then grounded out, leaving Iihara and Whitesell on the corners and the score 1-1 tie.

The 2nd inning started off dangerously with two straight errors at short, continuing Fujimoto’s god-awful start in the field, put Kanemoto in spitting distance of home (if he could spit 90 feet) in his first start back from the break following his Iron Man 1,492 consecutive game streak was finally broken.  Ishikawa walked Asai just to keep things interesting, but the Birds made it out of the inning safely.

Over the next few innings, Hanshin got men in scoring position only to leave them stranded, while Tokyo handed over three 1-2-3 innings before Ishikawa came through with a single two outs into the bottom of the 5th. Aoki promptly followed with with an easy pop fly, bringing us to the top of the sixth, which went 1-2-3 as well.

Then the bottom of the sixth: Tanaka rode a head-first slide into second to start the inning off with a double. Iihara bunted (Why?), getting on first safely as the Tigers turned out to not be stupid and went after the man at third instead of first. Whitesell hit a hard liner to right, putting himself on first and Iihara on second. Hatake got out, bringing up Aikawa who tripled to deep right, bringing in Iihara and Whitesell and making the score 3-1 Tokyo.

The relievers (Matsuoka for Tokyo, Nishimura and Ando for Hanshin) made short work of the rest before Lim was brought in in the ninth to notch his 19th save with another 1-2-3 inning.

Ishikawa took the win with 94 pitches and five hits, bringing his record to 4-8 and his ERA down to 3.87 – under 4 for the first time in a while.

Shimoyanagi took the loss for the Tigers, leaving him at 5-5 (3.04).

The Swallows face off against Hanshin again at Jingu tomorrow.

  • Christopher

    Watcing the triple – that was a lucky, lucky hit. How it stayed in I will never understand. Swallows pitching was good over the final stages – Ishikawa was superb from the fifth and both Matsuoka and Lim did the job.

  • Fujimoto was removed from the game early on as his defense has proven to be a serious liability as of late. I lost track of how many errors he had yesterday, and there was one on Thursday as well.

    Hopefully Onizaki can take advantage of the situation and start to make some progress at the plate.

    • Kozo

      Fujimoto's 3 errors last night cost him his spot on the active roster. He was sent down to Toda in favor of Morioka today.

  • MooreyTokyo

    Hey guys,

    I've just started a 6 weeks summer trip, so no Jingu for me for a while…. I remember last season, someone posted a link for some YouTube channel/user who put up great quality NPB highlights. Can anyone remind me of the link?

    • There was a guy that posted game highlights everyday taken straight from Fuji TV's Pro Yakyu News show, but I can find no trace of the channel now.

      It must've been shut-down. It did seem too good to be true to last for long.

  • SFBird

    Did this game sell out? I'm new to Tokyo and this will be my first game. How early do I have to get to the stadium to get unreserved tickets for the outfield. Thank you Swallows experts!

    • SFBird,
      You don't have to get there early at all. 5:30PM should be fine unless you have a big crowd (five or more people) with you.

      The closer you venture toward the right field foul pole, the easier it will be to find unclaimed seats. At any rate, as long as you arrive 15 minutes before game time, you should be able to find seats for a small group of people.

      Hope you have a blast!

      • SFBird

        Thanks Christopher,
        We found seats near the right field foul pole and had a really good time. Terrific venue and the perfect weather to enjoy it. The birds are definitely my team! I even bought a small green umbrella to get in on the cheers. Good game up until that painful 7th inning… but I guess that's what being a Swallows fan is all about. Thanks for the advice.

        GO BIRDS!!

      • SFBird

        Hey Christopher, do you have to pre-buy tickets to Swallows/Giants games at Jingu? The upcoming games on Aug10,11,12 are mid-week, so I suppose that should lower demand…

        • You should be fine if you just do what you did the last time.

          Those games are in the middle of the Obon holidays so a lot of folks will be off from work. But just head there a little earlier (around 5pm) if you want to be sure.

  • Phil

    G'day fellas. Just returned to Australia from 4 weeks in Japan. Wanting to see some baseball while we were there, we caught YS v CD at Nagoya (9-4 win) while on tour, and loved it so much we chased up another game in Tokyo, and saw the 4-3 win over YG. YS are our new team, we were seated both times near the trumpets and drums and loved that they sing so much, a lot like soccer tradition in UK and some AFL team fans. Can you point me at an English translation of the song when a run is scored and the umbrellas come out?