8/24/10 – Yokohama (Home)

August 24th, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 13

Yokohama BayStars 5

Streak: Won 2    Last 5: WWLWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After three exceedingly tight games in Nagoya this last weekend, Tokyo unloaded on the omni-shambles that is the Yokohama Baystars as they saw their record finally return to some semblance of respectability. So come one, come all, let us rejoice for the Swallows are now at .500!

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

After a quiet first two innings this one would spring to life in the bottom of the 3rd. Facing Baystars starter Shimuzu, back to back hits for Aoki and Tanaka got things rolling for the Swallows. After Ihara tak-bunted the runners along for out number one, Whitesell hit to centre to bring home the game’s first run, 1-0 Tokyo. With runners on the corners, Hatakeyama hit a double off the leftfield wall to bring home another run for 2-0 Tokyo before a dead ball juiced the bases for Miyamoto. He hit to second, with Castillo making a decent diving play, but the infielder delayed, and then made a bit of a pig’s ear of the throw to first, allowing Miyamoto to reach second on the error and two runs to score making it 4-0 Tokyo. But the Yokohama ineptitude would continue as Kawabata came to the plate with two men in scoring positions. The shortstop hit a grounder to the pitcher, but he completely screwed his throw to first, the ball ended up in front of the visitor’s bench, and two runs scored on the error. 6-0 Tokyo.

In the 4th, two solo homeruns from first Harper and then Whitesell moved the score along to 7-1 Tokyo. Whitesell’s monster shot to right was hit 11th of the season.

Things then quietened down a little until the 7th. In the top of the inning a double and an Uchikawa timely single made it 7-2, before the Swallows brought down the hammer in the bottom of the inning. Whitesell flew out for out number one, and then a Hatakeyama single and then a walks for Aikawa and Miyamoto loaded the bases. Kawabata then squeezed one through the infield to left, one run scored for 8-2 with the bases remaining stocked. Next man Muranaka grounded to short, but only the out at second was made as another run came home, 9-2. Aoki then worked a walk to reload the bases before Tanaka hit one up the first base foul line that stayed just fair for a double which made it 11-2. And with two men still in scoring positions Ihara brought the inning’s scoring to a close with a hit to centre with the score at 13-2.

A double, an(other) error from Kawabata at short, a single and another double in the Yokohama 8th yielded three runs to make it 13-5, and after another single Muranaka was seated with Matsui (3.44) coming in from the ‘pen. He gave up a walk to put three on for Uchikawa, but the bite-sized outfielder helped Tokyo (and Muranaka) by hitting into an inning ending double play.

With De La Cruz (2.16) pitching a perfect 9th that was that as the Swallows finally made it back up to .500, 13-5 Tokyo Final.

Muranaka took the win after his 7.1IP/11H/4K/1BB/5R/3ER performance and his record is now at a very respectable 9-7/3.03.

Tokyo outhit Yokohama 14-11 with Aoki (.345), Tanaka (.324), Whitesell (.329), Hatakeyama (.293), and Kawabata (.330) all having two-hit evenings.

The Swallows record is now W54, L54, D2 and they are 4.5 games behind the 3rd placed Dragons, and indeed “just” 7 games back of the league-leading Giants. My how far we’ve come post-Takada.

After the powder blue of last week’s Hiroshima series, the Swallows are modelling throwback home uniforms for this series with the Baystars. And I’d forgotten quite how much I’d missed the distinctive red pinstripes after years of designer blandness for home unis. I for one would be quite happy to see both sets of uniforms stay for good but there’s absolutely F.A. chance of that happening. Oh well.

The two teams will return to Jingu tomorrow evening.

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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

  • Kozo

    Actually the error at short in the eighth was by Onizaki. Onizaki came into the game as a pinch runner for Miyamoto in the seventh, and stayed in the game at short and Kawabata moved to third.

  • Indeed it was. Thanks for the correction.

  • SFBird

    I agree! The red pin stripes are pimp. And like the powder blue unis, way more unique than the generic standard ones.