8/12/10 – Yomiuri (Home)

August 12th, 2010


Yomiuri Giants 3

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Streak: Won 9   Last 9: WWWWWWWWW

(Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo went into this game hoping to extend their eight-game winning streak, a seven-year high, to nine. Here’s how it unfolded.

If you think for yourself, like baseball and/or Tokyo, and have some self-respect, your starting line-up was:

  1. Aoki
  2. Tanaka
  3. Iihara
  4. Whitesell
  5. Hatakeyama
  6. Aikawa
  7. Miyamoto
  8. Kawabata
  9. Yoshinori

If you judge items by the logo plastered on the outside, people the same way, and don’t know if you think for yourself or not, and/or if you are a Japanese sportscaster or NPB umpire, your guys were:

  1. Matsumoto
  2. Wakiya
  3. Ogasawara
  4. Ramirez
  5. Abe
  6. Takahashi
  7. Kamei
  8. Sakamoto
  9. Tohno

Young Yoshinori got off to a quick start, striking out Matsumoto, Wakiya, and Ramirez and walking only Ogasawara along the way.  The birds fared slightly better, with the hot Iihara doubling and Whitesell drawing a walk.

The top of the second went just as quickly with Pig-boy, inexplicable overrated celeb, and Kamei going down 1-2-3: ground out, ground out, pop fly. The Swallows tried to get things started in the bottom of the inning with Aikawa and Miyamoto both singling before Kawabata, Yoshinori, and Aoki all grounded out.

Top of the third? Pretty boy star: pop fly; Tohno: ground out; Matsumoto: K  #2. Maybe he should try putting both hands on the bat. Kawakami he is not – don’t listen to overwrought mindless Giants followers sportscasters.

The bottom of the third started out well: Tanaka was walked. Iihara continued his trend of facing only a few pitches by getting nailed by the first one; and Whitesell loaded the bases with a line drive to center. Hatake then brought Tanaka home with a sac fly and Miyamoto brought Iihara in with a single to right. 2-0 Tokyo.

The top of the fourth got a little scary, though. After striking out Wakiya for the second time, Yoshinori gave up hits to Ogasawara and Ramirez before walking Abe and getting down 3-1 in the count to Takahashi. Oh please don’t let them score the way we won the night before last.

Nope. Takahashi hit instead, driving in Ogasawara. Bases loaded, one out, Kamei grounds out, but it advances all the runners, including Ramirez to home. Wanting to cause heart attacks, Yoshinori then walked Sakamoto on four straight pitches high and outside, bringing up Tohno, who mercifully grounded out. Tied at 2.

Yoshinori and Aoki both grounded out to start the bottom of the fourth, but Tohno then obliged the good guys by walking Tanaka, which brought up Iihara. On a 2-1 count, the hot favorite of the Tsubamegun saw a low inside fastball he liked and knocked it to left for his third two-run round tripper in two days.

That’s not all, though. After a Yomiuri fielding error put Whitesell on first, Hatatkeyama belted an outside fastball to right for his his second HR of the week. 6-2 Tokyo.

Top of the fifth: Matsumoto didn’t strike out for a third time, but swung away and managed a foul and a pop out. Wakiya followed to whiff for the third time tonight. Shortly after, Yoshinori put one in the dirt, but none near being hit as he took Ogasawara down on four pitches for K no. 5 in as many innings.

In the bottom of the fifth, a Yoshinori sac bunt put Kawabata, who’d doubled, on third, but an Aoki pop fly left him stranded.

The top of the sixth saw Yohsinori notch K no. 6 and give up one hit: a single to Abe.

The bottom of that inning saw a Tanaka single followed by an Iihara GIDP. Ugh. Whitesell flied out.

For the good guys, Hatake moved to first base and Fukuchi came into the game in left field, replacing Whitesell in the lineup in the top of the seventh.

Luckily, Gomiuri obliged again: After a Sakamoto single, Chono came in to pinch hit for the justifiably yanked Tohno and struck out, giving Yoshinori number 7. Matsumoto then continued his beautiful night by grounding into a double play.

Nomaguchi took the mound for the silly orange rabbit things in the bottom of the seventh and let none of our guys on.

Yoshinori started to show a little wear and tear in the eighth as he and Wakiya broke tradition with Wakiya hitting a double, then scoring when Ogasawara followed that with a double out to the fence. Ramirez and Abe both hit fly balls, both resulting in outs, but the latter allowed Ogasawara to reach third base. A walk of Takahashi then followed and he was yanked in favor of pinch-runner Suzuki, putting men on the corners with Edgar up, taking the place of Kamei and Matsuoka coming in to relieve Yoshinori.

Matsuoka got the job done and the score stood at 6-3 Tokyo.

In the bottom of the eighth, Utsumi came in to pitch for our foes and Kawabata again started off with a hit. Noguchi, of all the players, came in to hit for Matsuoka, and sac bunted Kawabata to second before Aoki, continuing a dismal night at the plate, grounded out to move to 0 for 5, and Tanaka grounded out to end the inning.

Lim took the mound in the ninth, looking for save number 25 and all sorts of nice first-in-a-long-time numbers for the birds. The faithful had to hold their breath a bit, though.

Sakamoto started the inning with a single. Chono then grounded into a double play – the Giabbits’ second and the game’s third – and Tani came in to strike out and end the game.

6-3 Tokyo, Final.

Exhale.

And whoop.

Nine straight wins. Three straight series sweeps. This is the first time in eight years that the Swallows have won nine straight. 2002 was not quite as great as 2001, but was very good.

Yoshinori took the win. Tohno the loss.

Standings & ResultsPlayer Stats

  • SFBird

    WOOOOOO!!! not a particularly intelligent post, but uh… WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

  • zunlin

    Amazing! The Whitesell arriving couldn't be the only reason of this mutation…

    Ihara become another player in front of the orange bakas

    • We've had a soft spot for Iihara for a while around here (mostly Chris, I will admit), he does come through. He's nice to kids, too. The few times I've seen him in the OF at small stadia he has been matched only by Guiel in the attention he pays to the little kids shouting to him throughout the game.
      I, for one, would love to see him earn a spot as a true regular.

  • SFBird

    10! It got a little hairy there, but the birds have stones! Stonebirds! Ok, tsubamegun sages, how long has it been?… 🙂

    GO SWALLOWS!