8/29/10 – Hanshin (Home)

August 28th, 2010

Hanshin Tigers 12

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: LLWLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

The Swallows’ insistence on going with a 6-man rotation costs the team dearly… The Birds’ lineup was the usual, except the starting pitcher.

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

With Barnette back with the farm team, the Swallows decided to start Hiroki Yamamoto in this all important game against the Tigers. Yamamoto, was making his first start for the season, and only his second first team start overall, pitched as you would expect a young inexperienced pitcher would pitch against a loaded offense like the Tigers.

The Tigers struck quickly in the first inning, using the very Japanese formula of Murton hit, Hirano sac bunt, and Toritani timely single. One wonders how bad things would have been if Toritani was allowed to swing away aginst the young Yamamoto. Nevertheless, the Tigers had the early lead. 1-0 Tigers

In the bottom of the first inning, Aoki gave the Swallows faithful some hope by launching the fifth pitch he saw against Kubo into the right field stands. Unfortunately none of the remaining Swallows were able to follow Aoki’s lead, and the rest of the order went down without much of a fight. 1-1 All

The Tigers came right back against Yamamoto in the top of the second when Kanemoto, professional Swallows killer, took a pitch down the middle into the right field stands. Not to be outdone, Johjima quickly followed Kanemoto’s lead, and hit a homer into left field. Ymamoto manged to get the bottom two men of the Tigers’ offense out, but proceeded to give up back-to-back-to-back hits to Murton, Hirano, and Toritani to score another run for the Tigers. If Aikawa hadn’t managed to throw Toritani out attempting to steal second base, I get the feeling the Tigers would have continued to be on offense for a long time. 4-1 Tigers

Instead of responding to the Tigers’ offensive performance, the Swallows went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second inning. The top of the third inning saw Yamamoto being replaced by Kosuke Matsui. Matsui held the Tigers off the board despite giving up a hit to Kanemoto. Once again, the Swallows fail to respond going down in order in the bottom  of the inning. Matsui gives the Swallows faithful a bit of a heart-attack by giving up a leadoff hit and walk to Murton and Hirano, but manages to strikeout the next three batters to keep the score as it was.

The bottom of the fourth saw the Swallows start to fight back when Tanaka drew a walk to start the inning, and Hatakeyama managing to get him home on a home run to left field. But like in the previous innngis the Swallows were unable to put anymore pressure on Kubo. 4-3 Tigers

After 2 scoreless innings, Matsui finally breaks in the top of the fifth inning. After getting two outs from Arai and Brazell, Matsui gives up (another) hit to Kanemoto and a homer to Johjima. 6-3 Tigers

From this point on, the Swallows do manage to get a single an inning but nothing more until the ninth. The Tigers managed to further widen their lead in the sixth with a single and homerun by Toritani and Arai. 8-3 Tigers The Tigers widened their lead even further in the eighth through three straight singles by Murton, Toritani, and Hirano, followed bit later by a Brazell homer. 12-3 Tigers

The Swallows finally managed to string some hits together in the bottom of the ninth when Whitesell and Hatakeyama managed back-to-back doubles, against former Tigers’ starter Tsuru, for one run. 12-4 Tigers The Swallows capped the scoring when Takeuchi got a hit against Tsuru to score Hatakeyama. 12-5 Tigers But at that point, it was too little too late and the Tigers cruised to an easy win.


  • The Tigers got 20 hits overall, with Murton and Toritani collecting 4 hits apiece, and Hirano, Kanemoto, and Fujikawa managing 3 hits apiece.
  • The Tigers managed to get at least 1 hit in every  inning.
  • Every Swallows pitcher (Yamamoto, Matsu, Oshimoto, and Matsuoka) save Hashimoto, who pitched the top of the ninth, allowed at least 2 earned runs.
  • Kubo’s record against the Swallows moved to 4-0 in 4 starts.
  • The Swallows’ overall record against the Tigers fell to 7-13 overall.
  • The Swallows once again find themselves in the negative side of a .500 record.
  • The Swallows will look to bounce back against the Giants in a 2 game series against the Giants in the Chubu region starting Tuesday.
About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he’s not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • zunlin

    Today the game was already over before the first pitch. In this moment we could only win if the starting pitcher (Mura-Ishi-Yoshi-Tate) would go at least 8 inn, otherwise we have serious problems.
    We have to be happy with the 4th place, wondering where we would be now if
    Mr Takad left us earlier…