10/2/10 — Chunichi (Away)

October 2nd, 2010

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Chunichi Dragons 2

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LWWLW

(Nagoya Dome)

The Tokyo Swallows beat the first place Chunichi Dragons, but were knocked out of playoff contention with Hanshin’s whupping of Hiroshima this evening.

Tonite’s lineup:

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

Miyamoto’s team-leading 12th error of the season allowed a runner that would come back to haunt him in the first. Morino drove in pinch runner, Nakagawa, with a single to left. 1-0 Chunichi.

The  birds weren’t able to put a reply together until the sixth inning. Aoki doubled and then Tanaka bunted him over to third. Hatakeyama came up with the goods when he hit an RBI single to center to keep the visitors in the game. 1-1.

And Muranaka would walk  away with the win while watching from the bench in the top of the seventh. Aikawa and Miyamoto both hit one out singles before Kawabata hit a pop-up to left for out number two. Whitesell came to the plate in Muranaka’s place to save the day for the Swallows care of a double to left that plated our catcher and third baseman. 3-1 Tokyo.

Oshimoto and Matsuoka came in to lock down the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, before Lim allowed things to get interesting in the bottom of the ninth. The ever-dangerous Morino took Lim yard to put the home team within one run. 3-2 Tokyo.

But Lim (1.48 ERA) retired the next three batters and earned his 34th save of the year for his efforts.

Oshimoto (2.84) and Matsuoka (2.66) pitched in their 59th and 70th games, respectively.

On offense, only Hatakeyama had more than one hit today. Kawabata went 1-2 with two walks.

Tokyo’s next game is a truly meaningless game tomorrow evening at Jingu versus the Yokohama BayStars.

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

  • You’ve gotta hand it to these guys for turning the season around the way that they did. If we had just won two or three extra games in April/May, then it’d be a different story altogether right now.

    Regardless, big props to everyone for pulling it together so quickly under new management.

  • Georgeerwin

    Hi Chris. I visited em in Kanazawa then off to Hiroshima. We saw the carp play the swallows and what an incredible event it was.. Nothing is more exciting than watching a Japanese ball game. The crowd was going wild and they know how to enjoy a baseball game. The States are pale in comparison.
    Take Care.

    • Glad to hear that you had a good time! And thanks for stopping by the site. Hopefully some day we’ll be able to meet for a game at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo.

  • I was there! (Sitting on the 1st-base side with a friend from Gifu, though.) Aoki’s double was actually almost a groundout to third until it took a funny bounce over Naomichi and Aoki made it to second while he recovered the ball from foul territory. But it worked… and Hatakeyama didn’t suck for once (probly because I was on the opposite side) and Whitesell’s pinch hit was huge.

    Thing is, after the game, despite that the Swallows won, there was no Swallows game hero, no interview — since the Dragons clinched 1st the day before, this was the First Place Ceremony day. So I got to see them carry around the trophy and the flag and whatnot, and got hit in the head by a ton of streamers being thrown. Good times 🙂

    I was mostly pissed off because I really wanted to see Masa Yamamoto pitch an inning. Ochiai used everyone ELSE and their uncle, why couldn’t he give us a last Masa appearance in a meaningless game?

    Oh, and because Yasushi hasn’t done a damn thing in any game I’ve seen him in lately. Sigh.

  • zunlin

    We have the best series against the 1st….. Call us Robin Hood team….

  • True true. But we also had the worst record in the Central versus Yokohama…

  • Kozo

    I think it’s worth noting that 5 of our 9 losses to Yokohama came in a 1 month period in the Takada era. A period between April 2 and May 2, in which we went 4-5 against the BayStars.

  • Still can’t believe how dire that time was. Tokyo was 1-4 against Hanshin and 2-4 vs Hiroshima during that month.

    If we could have won one more game off of each of those three teams in April, then tonite’s game would have a lot more meaning (from Tokyo’s perspective anyway).