9/9/10 — Hiroshima (Home)

September 9th, 2010

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: WLDWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Not incredibly pleased that I went to this game…

Tonight’s lineup:

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

Aoki may have gone 3-4 for with three doubles, but that’s about all that happened on offense.

He was the one to cross home plate to put the birds up by a run in the first, but he was also the one with the throwing error in the second that was partly responsible for the deficit at the end of that inning. 3-1 Hiroshima.

The Carp added another run in the third on a two out Shima RBI double to put the game completely out of reach for the home team. 4-1 Hiroshima.

The birds crawled one run closer in the fifth when Tanaka was allowed to swing away for once and singled Aoki home from second to make it 4-2 Hiroshima.

But things never got better than that.

The Carp put up three more runs in the seventh and two more in the ninth while the Tokyo bats remained absolutely silent over the final four frames. 9-2 Final.

So the visitors exacted their revenge for a walk-off loss two nights ago. Maeda went the distance on 118 pitches while Yoshinori gave up seven runs (six earned) over six and two-thirds innings and earned his eighth loss (against 10 wins) as a result.

The Swallows next travel to Koshien for a dreadfully important three-game series versus Hanshin.

Meanwhile, third place Yomiuri, who also tanked tonight, will enjoy a series against the fifth place Carp this weekend.

Random thoughts:

Ishikawa was supposed to start tonight, but Yoshinori got bumped up instead. There is definitely room to argue that it’s better to save Ishikawa for a decent team, but management is now left to wonder what might have been.

Whatever, Maeda rarely gives up more than three runs anyway, so we probably should have started Matsui, Watanabe or Lee just for kicks.

At any rate, Ishikawa and Tateyama are both free to deal with Hanshin now.

The birds were outhit 11-5 tonite.

With D’Antona having a good game on Tuesday, many were wondering what Ogawa would do. He chose to start both Whitesell and D’Antona. It might have worked out differently if Maeda hadn’t been on the mound.

Both Whitesell and D’Antona struck out three times tonite.

Glass is half full: Whitesell had a sac fly (RBI) in the first while D’Antona drew a walk with one out in the ninth.

Of the five hits that Maeda conceded, four of them were doubles.

Aoki leads the league with 178 hits.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini