8/7/10 – Yokohama (Away)

August 7th, 2010

Tokyo Swallows 10

Yokohama BayStars 7

Streak: Won 5   Last 5: WWWWW

(Yokohama Stadium)

After last night’s drubbing handed out to the Baystars, tonight’s game was more of a tightly contested affair despite Tokyo outhitting the opposition 17-9. But in the end class told as the Swallows came out on top at the end of this rollercoaster of a game.

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

Facing rookie Yokohama starter Kaga, Tokyo took a 1st inning lead after a single from Tanaka and a Takeuchi double set the table for Whitesell. The American, who can seem to do no wrong since his arrival here, hit a double to right which brought home two runs for 2-0 Tokyo.

Swallows’ starter Nakazawa gave up seven runs in his previous start, also against the Baystars last Saturday. Today he would not fair much better but would get a lot more run support this time round. So it wasn’t the most auspicious of starts as he gave up three consecutive hits to begin the game, the last of those a three run homer to Harper which saw his lead dissapear before putting an out on the board as the score moved to 3-2 Yokohama.

But this post-Takada, post-allstar break Swallows team are a resilient bunch, and they proved it as they struck back in the top of the 2nd. Back to back singles for Miyamoto and Kawabata got the inning rolling before Nakazawa layed down a sacbunt to move the runners along. A pitch low and way inside hit Aoki (who was not best pleased to put it mildly) to load the bases for Tanaka. He could only strikeout tamely, but next man up Takeuchi got the job done with a two run single that put the birds back ahead at 4-3.

Another run followed in the 3rd. A single for Hatakeyama was followed by two outs, the upshot of which meant the chubby-one was now residing at second. Kawabata was then given the intentional pass to first which brought up pitcher Nakazawa. He, no doubt inspired by Tateyama’s heroics the night before, hit one over the head and out of the reach of  third baseman Murata which scored Hatake from second for 5-3.

An enormous homer to right  from Whitesell (no.8 for the year) followed in the 4th off reliever Fujie which made it 6-3 Tokyo. But just as things looked like they may be mirroring the night before, Yokohama fought back.

In the bottom of the 4th a solo shot from Castillio narrowed the score to 6-4, before two hits and a Murata three-run shot in the 5th put the Baystars ahead. 7-6 Yokohama.

Luckily for Nakazawa, the Tokyo resilience saved him as they got right back in the game in the 6th. A two-out Takeuchi single and walk for Whitesell put two on for Hatakeyama. And he did not fail to deliver as he doubled to the wall in left to score both men and put Tokyo back in front, 8-7 Tokyo.

Takagi (4.15) and Watanabe (6.75) combined to work a scoreless 6th before the familiar procession of Masubuchi (2.96) and Matsuoka (1.54) followed to work hitless 7th and 8th innings respectively (though Masubuchi did give up two walks).

Insurance runs followed in the 9th (Kawabata one-out single, Noguchi pinch-hit sacbunt, Aoki RBI double, Tanaka RBI single) to make it 10-7 which meant that it was Lim-time in the bottom of the 9th. He looked less than convincing as he gave up a two-out walk and a single to Harper. Up stepped slugger Murata with a chance to send this one into extra innings, but he hit a fly to right which was snagger on the run just before the wall by Ihara and this one was done, 10-7 Tokyo Final.

Nakazawa was the rather fortuitous recipient of the win after his 5 innings of 8 hit 7 run baseball, and his record now sits at 7-6/4.72. Lim earned his 23rd save of the season and his ERA is now at 1.53.

Everyone in the starting 1-8 spots had multi-hit evenings bar Aikawa who was hitless in his 5 plate appearances.

Tokyo have now edged ahead 8-7 in the season series against the CL’s worst, and they will go for the sweep tomorrow evening, still very much in the hunt for that final playoff berth.

Standings & ResultsPlayer Stats

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

  • No

    I was at this game. My first time at Yokohama Stadium. The birds (toritachi?) are 3-4 at games I've attended so far.

  • Mac

    It was a fantastic evening. And a fantastic result. Good warm up at the Kirin Brewery before hand too. I couldn't be happier with the way the day went.