8/28/10 – Hanshin (Home)

August 28th, 2010

Hanshin Tigers 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WLLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

What poison can overcome the elation of a thumping of the Tigers?

A thumping by the Tigers.

This sucked. Good news first:

Eulogio De La Cruz is a badass (except at pitching). His warm-up music shows it to be so.

Kyodai bune” by Ichiro Toba.

Not to be completely outdone, Masaru Sato warmed up to Pink Lady’s hit, “Southpaw”. (And blew it on the mound just as hard.)

All players should have such good taste in music. Sadly, the pitching didn’t live up to the tunes.

All players being:

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

. . . for Tokyo.

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

. . . for the degenerates.

The game sucked. Shall I spell it out?
Murton got revenge for last night. On Tokyo’s side, the guys just plain sucked.

In the first, Murton led off with a hit and was eventually brought home by an Arai hit out to the fence. In the third, Murton reached on a Tanaka fumble, was moved to second by another Hirano sacrifice, and was brought in this time by a Toritani hit.

In the fifth, a Murton solo home run gave Hanshin their third run. Yes, the red-headed geek scored all three of the first three runs for the enemy. In the sixth, Arai hit a solo home run, making it at least not an all Murton show.

A Hatake double in the second was followed by a Miyamoto RBI, which means the score was tied at 1 for a third of an inning.

By the time Nakazawa was yanked with one out in the sixth, after walking Kanemoto with the bases open, the score was 4-1 Hanshin.

Mercifully, no one scored in the seventh or eighth (unfortunately, that includes our side). De La Cruz created conditions for drinking to the enka he had piped in when he gave up two hits, a walk, and hit, registering only one out in the process. The last of those hits was a three-RBI double by, you guessed it: Murton. Fucker. He’s going to stick around a bit and eventually sign with Yomiuri.

Sato took over from the ailing De La Cruz with a nice musical choice of his own, but failed to live up to it just about as badly. He managed an out, but Murton moved to third and was brought in by Toritani, who was moved to third by Arai, then brought in by Brazell. Keeping track of the score still? I wasn’t. It was bad. 9-1 Hanshin.

Bottom of the ninth. In theory the game wasn’t over. Kawabata got another hit – making up for a lackluster performance in last night’s win. Nitta came to the plate again and got another hit. Aoki even drove Kawabata in, but it wasn’t enough. 9-2 Hanshin.

If you’re wondering, Oshimoto pitched a scoreless 7th and Watanabe a scoreless 8th for Tokyo. Hanshin did their thing where they put in a dozen pitchers when each pitcher was doing all right.

Hanshin got 15 hits, the Swallows 7. Starter Akiyama (1-1) took the win, Nakazawa (7-8) the loss. Again, though, Tokyo’s relievers made sure they contributed to the loss, cementing it. Making sure there was no element of hope or thought that the game might have turned on one play. No, this was a thorough sucking. Like a Shop-Vac in outer space.

The Birds get a chance at redemption and the series tomorrow.

  • No

    What was up with Hirano bunting Murton to third with a 7 run lead? Hopefully he ends up with one in the ribs in today’s game.

  • Christopher

    Welcome to Mayumiland – they do this sort of thing in Japanese baseball and the moderators of this site can fill you in about the Tak-bunt as practiced by Swallows former manager. I would hope that Swallows do not throw at Hirano – he was doing as his idiot manager instructed, nothing more.

  • No

    Then I hope Akinobu ends up with one in the ribs today.

  • When you’re right, you’re right, Christopher. No, the sac bunt is not so much a strategic action in Japanese baseball as a religious ritual. Our former (wildly incompetent) manager, Takada, so reflexively called for the sac bunt any time he had a runner on first, none on second or third, and no outs, regardless of game situation, that we took to calling it the “Tak-bunt.”

    You’ll notice Tokyo was doing it as early as the first inning. I’ve seen Tak-bunts with an out, with a man on third, with seven-run differentials, you name it. This is what comes of making “former star player” and “known for rigid traditionalism and toughness” the first two requirements for managers.