7/21/10 – Yomiuri (Away)

July 21st, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Yomiuri Giants 3

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LLLLW

(Tokyo Dome)

The Swallows ended the first half of their season with a win in Tokyo Dome that halted their losing streak at four. At the helm was starter Masanori Ishikawa who despite lasting just five innings, gave up just a single run that would ultimately be good enough for his first win against the Giants since March 2008, and his first at the inflatable stain dome since 2004.

Tokyo lined up like this:

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Ihara (LF)
  4. Whitesell (1B)
  5. Guiel (RF)
  6. Aikawa (C)
  7. Miyamoto (3B)
  8. Kawabata (SS)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

The Giants took a first inning lead, as Sakamoto was put on base after being hit by a pitch (unfortunately, not in the head), and he was later brought home by Ogasawara for 1-0 Yomiuri.

The Swallows struck back against Giants starter Fukuda in the top of the 3rd. A leadoff  walk for Aoki was followed up my a Tanaka tak-bunt, which was proved to be even more of a waste than usual as Whitesell then clubbed one over the wall in right (his 5th of the year) and into the sea of orange morons for 2-1 Tokyo.

The lead was extended in the 5th with ex-Swallow Fujii on the mound. An Aoki one-out single and a walk for Tanaka put two on for Ihara, and he singled to bring home the third run, 3-1 Tokyo.

And another run followed in the 6th, this time a  pinch-hit RBI double from Hatakeyama brining home Miyamoto (who had reached base via a walk) from 2nd and things were looking more comfortable at 4-1 Tokyo.

But given the woes of the Swallows pitching of late, things wouldn’t end up being so comfortable.

With Matsuoka on the mound in the 7th, three strikeouts were accompanied by a Ramirez solo homer to make it 4-2.

And with Lim rested since his appearance in the Swallows’ last win, he came in to try to close-out the game in the 8th. Two hits, the second a RBI double from the ever annoying Sakamoto made it 4-3, but despite giving up a single and a walk in the 9th, Lim managed to secure the win for Ishikawa as the game finished 4-3 Tokyo  Final.

Ishikawa got his streak-ending win, which moved his record to 5-8/3.78 after his 5IP/8H/1R/1K/1BB/1HBP outing.

Lim earned his 20th save of the season, and marks the third straight year he has reached that mark.

Tokyo were outhit 13-7, with Aoki the only Swallow to manage two hits.

The season now enters the Allstar break with the Swallows record sitting at 36-48-2, good enough for 4th in the CL. The regular season resumes on the 27th with a home series against Hiroshima.

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