8/13/10 – Hanshin (Away)

August 13th, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 9

Hanshin Tigers 6

Streak: Won 10   Last 10: WWWWWWWWWW

(Osaka Kyocera Dome)

As you can see, the streak continues, tying the 2002 streak at ten wins on the trot. Yes, ten straight wins.

First, a multiple choice question.

Baseball is:
a. A game between two teams of nine players each, in which success is determined by how much a team wins and in which your team currently has ten straight wins.
b. An event to which you bring the wife and toddlers in order to get blitzed, throw garbage onto the field, and in which success is determined by how much tacky tat you can wear at one time and by how gaudily your tricked out minivan is decorated.

If you chose “a”, your team tonight was:

  1. Aoki
  2. Tanaka
  3. Iihara
  4. Whitesell
  5. Hatakeyama
  6. Takeuchi
  7. Kawabata
  8. Kawamoto
  9. Tateyama

If you didn’t understand the question, were unable to read it, or chose “b”, your guys were:

  1. Murton
  2. Hirano
  3. Toritani
  4. Arai
  5. Brazell
  6. Kanemoto
  7. Johjima
  8. Sakurai
  9. Tsuru

Aoki started things off with a bang in the form of a line drive to left that put him on first. Unfortunately, he was followed by an inexplicably Tak-bunting Tanaka and a ground out by Iihara, but that put him on third when Whitesell put things right with an RBI single to right. Hatakeyama then drove Whitesell in with a double. 2-0 Tokyo.

The Tigers were not to be held down so easily, though. Murton led off with a single, then was moved to second on a high-bouncing hit-and-run by Hirano. Luckily, Toritani then hit into a doubel play. Unluckily, that put Murton on third when Arai hit an RBI doubel out to the center field fence before Tateyama notched his first K of the night against Brazell. 2-1 Tokyo.

In the second inning, Aoki made up for last night by driving Kawamoto in from second with an RBI double. 3-1 Tokyo.

The bottom of the second went 1-2-3, with Tateyama getting K #2, against Johjima.

Although Whitesell hit in the top of the third, Hatake grounded into a double play. In the bottom half, Tateyama struck out Tsuru and Hirano sandwiching a Murton ground out for another 1-2-3 inning.

The fourth and fifth innings passed without event or scoring, although Tateyama struck out three more, bringing his total thus far to seven.

The top of the sixth got exciting. Tsuru tried to get fancy with a shoot that got away from him, went way high and inside, and hit Hatakeyama. Onizaki went in as a pinch runner and a Takeuchi single pushed him over to third. Kawabata struck out, but then a Kawamoto sac fly brough Onizaki in. Tateyama then continued his very good night with an RBI double that brought Takeuchi in. Tsuru then intentionally walked Aoki to get to Tanaka, who made the doubting Tigers pay for it by drilling the first pitch he faced over the left field fence for a three-run homer. A five-run inning. 8-1 Tokyo.

Murton stopped our side from celebrating too early with a solo round-tripper to start the bottom of the sixth, but Tateyama struck out Brazell again while walking Hirano. 8-2 Tokyo.

Reliever Watanabe walked Takeuchi and Kawamoto in the top of the seventh, but no hits made no runs.

In the bottom of that inning, Tateyama started to show strain. Johjima hit; Hiyama came in for Sakurai and hit. Lin singled and got Hiyama out, but Murton hit an RBI single, bringing Johjima home. 8-3 Tokyo.

The top of the eighth went 1-2-3 against our boys with Ando on the mound for Hanshin, then Oshimoto came in in relief and scared the heck out of good people across the land.

With one out, he gave up hits to Arai and Brazell, then a deep RBI triple to Kanemoto, followed immediately by an RBI single to Johjima. Then, two more outs and the fear of the rather rare, but horrific Oshimoto meltdown. 8-6 Tokyo.

The top of the ninth saw Fujihara come in for Hanshin and get two quick outs before Takeuchi doubled and was driven in by Kawabata. Matsuoka then closed for Tokyo, giving up one hit and one HBP while notching two Ks, leading a final of 9-6 Tokyo.

13 hits for each side. Tateyama took the win with eight Ks. Tsuru got the loss.

The Swallows face Hanshin again tomorrow night. The next milestone is twelve straight wins, set back in 1991.

Standings & ResultsPlayer Stats

  • Kozo

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Matsuoka was making his 7th straight appearance, and his 9th overall appearance in 11 games this month?

    • I'll bitch about it a lot when this streak eventually ends. It is a concern, though. Kid's arm will eventually fall off, probably in an ugly mid-game collapse.

  • That multiple choice question is full of win, just like the Swallows at the moment.

  • SFBird

    Hey, what's wrong with booze and tricked-out minivans? 🙂
    On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know the Twitter user “GGGGGGo_Lets_Go”? Apparently this “graphic designer and avid fan of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows” is the proud owner of the world's 20 billionth tweet. In the response to all the attention he is getting, he wrote: “I'm grateful and humbled by those who are visiting because of my 20 billionth tweet. Be warned, I tweet a lot about baseball.”

  • Christopher

    I am struck by the irony of your comments about Tigers fans given the photo of the 'thing' you have on the website – the deceased Swallows fan. Incidently, the Swallows support was out in force at last night's game – all two of them. If you were watching the TV you would have enjoyed the expression on the faces of Watanabe and Mayumi after Tanaka belted his three run home run.

    • I love Mayumi's expressions all the time.

      Let me get this straight, though. My comments about Tigers fans somehow make the late Masayasu Okada not only unworthy of being named, but somehow subhuman: a “thing”, not a man. That then makes my comments somehow ironic. Got it.

      Except that I don't. Why is Mr. Okada a thing and not a person? Do you always speak ill of the well-remembered dead, or do you save this complete lack of basic social decency for those who, prior to their deaths, happened to avidly support the same baseball team as someone they'd never met who, eight years later, jokingly and benignly, jokingly insults the fans of the team you like?

      I'd recommend a dictionary. First, look up “proportion”. Once you've got that, check “mores”. If those are both in check, just humor me by looking up “irony” because nothing about what I said, gratuitous insults of deceased people in no way involved with what I wrote aside, was ironic.

      As for the two fans, I'd say there were at least four. (That's a joke, too.) Since when do we measure the validity of supporting a club by counting the number of fans, though? Once you start down that road, you're a Giants fan? Is your method really to argue for the Tigers by advocating universal Giants fandom?

  • Christopher

    I have retained a sense of childlike innocence – others are naive. I think the double standard is clear and so is all talk of proportion. Admittedly, my sense of humour is rather dark but I think that the point is rather valid. Whatever Mr Okada was matters not one bit to me but it is clear that whatever Tigers fans are to you they are not people. Personally, I believe that abuse of teams and players is fine but ALL fans are deserving of some respect as individuals. That includes Giants fans – they made a choice which you and I should respect. It doesn't necessarily make them nice people but it doesn't make them objects of scorn either. There is a lot of envy in what you write about Tigers fans whether concious or sub-concious. Ask yourself why more people like the Giants or Tigers than the Swallows. Partially because they are successful but also because they are more welcoming and their fans are more welcoming I suspect.

    • Christopher, you always entertain, I'll give you that.

      If you see an equivalence between saying that a group, in general, is motivated primarily by the acquisition and display of team-themed merchandise and calling an individual a “thing”, you're rather out on a limb. Sense of humor isn't really an issue as any joke there started and ended with you.

      Envy? Hardly. We're not talking about religions here, we're taking about favoring one baseball club over another. If you or I or anyone else wanted to like a team, they could.

      I would defy you to point out a single instance in which I, or anyone else on this site, has ever denied the humanity of, or made direct ad hominem attacks against, any fan of any team, be it Giants, Tigers, whomever. The only people who could really complain of direct attacks would be our own former manager Takada and, maybe, Shiroishi and everything we said was factual, if delivered in an unkind tone.

      Ditto for almost every word of what I wrote above. That the Hanshin Tigers are, above all else, a tat marketing organization is beyond dispute, even among Hanshin fans who have, say, seen other Hanshin fans in a game setting.

      I know that, in the past, our pointing out of the unsavory parts of the Hanshin fandom have irritated you, but those were all perfectly factual statements: police presence is substantially higher at Jingu when Hanshin is in town than during any other games, visiting fans at Koshien are sequestered and asked to wait until most of the home fans have left when Hanshin loses in order to avoid incidents. These are not moral judgements, but statements of direct observation.

      As I said, if you see calling Hanshin fans tat-crazy and calling a specific deceased individual a “thing” as being pretty much the same and feel the need to make vague, unsubstantiated jabs in the direction of “you do it, too” to make yourself feel better about it, so be it, but you know as well as I do where the line is and when it was crossed.