9/5/10 — Yokohama (Away)

September 5th, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6

Yokohama BayStars 6

Streak: Tied 1    Last 5: WDWLD


The Swallows drew the BayStars to a 6-all tie in Yokohama. The game was pretty much one big personality test, you’d see the results completely differently depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist.

Tokyo’s lineup:

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. Nakazawa P

Unfortunately, as it seems to be the case these days, the shaky Nakazawa came out to pitch today. Nakazawa spotted the BayStars 4 runs, by giving up 2-run homers to Harper and Castillo, in the first inning. The rookie was so shaky, the Yokohama batters hit for the cycle against him in just 1 inning. Giving up 4 runs and 14 total bases on 5 hits doesn’t get you very far in this or any other league, and Nakazawa was pulled after only 1 inning of work. 4-0 BayStars

Things were not looking promising in the second innings, as Whitesell and Hatakeyama gave up the first 2 outs of the inning fairly quickly. But with 2 outs the Swallows managed 6 straight hits, including a double by Aoki, to score 5 runs to take back the lead just as quickly as they had given it up. 5-4 Swallows

With Nakazawa already off the mound, the Swallows had to rely on their relievers to hold the game in check. The first man up for the job was Hashimoto. Unfortunately, Hashimoto didn’t start off well, giving up back-to-back hits to the BayStars. A Tak-bunt and a deep fly ball by Harper later, the score was tied again. 5-5 All

The Swallows start the top of the third with back-to-back hits of their own, but can’t manage to bring them home. Hashimoto manages to start the bottom of the third with a bang, by inducing a swinging strikeout from Sledge. But a Castillo double, followed by a Shimozono single gives the BayStars the lead. 6-5 BayStars

For the next 5 full innings neither team scored. While both sides scattered hits throughout and had some chances, nothing came of them. Hashimoto was pulled after his 2 innings, the Swallows began a relay that saw Hye-cheon Lee, Oshimoto, and Matsuoka pitch 2 innings each.

Fukuchi slides home to tie the game 6-6

With the game down down to the ninth inning, the Swallows finally manage to make something happen on offense, albeit in a very ugly manner. Batting against the BayStars’ closer Yamaguchi, Iihara starts the inning off with a double. Unfortunately, a botched Tak-bunt attempt by Fukuchi gets Iihara nailed out at third. With one out and a man on first, Fukuchi steals second to make the situation respectable again. Hatakeyama singles to put men on the corners. Finally, Aikawa managed to get a ball deep enough into center to sacrifice Fukuchi home. 6-6 All

That score stood for the rest of the night and the game ended in a 6-6 tie after 12 full innings and 5 hours and 9 minutes of play. Lim continued the reliever relay by pitching the tenth and eleventh. Watanabe failed to get his man out to start the twelfth, so Matsui finished the inning. Both teams got chances in the eleventh and twelfth, but couldn’t finish.

The Swallows finish their 3 game series against the BayStars with a thoroughly unsatisfying 1-1-1 record. The team’s record stays at .500, and the team is 4.5 games behind the third place Giants. The Swallows begin a 3 game series at home against the Carp on 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.