10/5/10 – Hanshin (Home)

October 5th, 2010

Hanshin Tigers 17

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WLWWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Oh dear. Let’s keep this short shall we? Okay, it’s a deal.

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Fukuchi (LF)
  3. Hatakeyama (3B)
  4. D’Antona (1B)
  5. Ihara (RF)
  6. Tanaka (2B)
  7. Morioka (SS)
  8. Fukukawa (C)
  9. Nakazawa (P)

With Hanshin still chasing 2nd place and homefield advantage in the (first round of the) playoffs, they were the only team in this “contest”.

Nakazawa started, and as has often been the case since since around June, he pretty much tossed batting practice for the opposition. The 2nd inning was when most of the damage was done, with a walk, a dead ball and six hits putting Hanshin up by 9. Amongst those hits was one of significance, as outfielder Matt Murton broke Ichiro’s single season hits record by racking up his 211th of the season. He would also hit number 212 and 213 later this game, aren’t we charitable. Congratulations to the man, who has been nothing short of a revelation for the Tigers this year, and seems to be a nice chap to boot. We’ll overlook his gingerness.

With the game all but lost, Nakazawa wouldn’t make it out of the inning as the bullpen was called into some extended action:

Hashimoto gave up two more in the 3rd, Masubuchi one in the 4th, De La Cruz two in the 8th before Watanabe capped it off with three in the 9th.

Tokyo’s consolation runs came in the 3rd (one run via an Aoki sac-fly), and the 5th (five hits yielding three runs).

It will not surprise you to learn that Nakazawa took the loss with his record now at 7-9/5.68.

Aoki, now firmly in the shadow of Murton’s achievement, got his only hit of the game, number 205, in the 5th.

The Carp are the next visitors to Jingu, as the two teams meet for the penultimate time this season tomorrow evening.

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

  • Rob

    I’m not sure which is more pathetic – that Nakazawa wasn’t yanked and shipped to Toda immediately after walking in a run in the second on a bases-loaded walk – to the other team’s pitcher – on four straight pitches – or that in the ninth, with two outs and the Tigers up by 10, we didn’t hit any Tigers after they continued to run up the score. Murton and Hirano had reasons to remain aggressive at the plate, but for the rest of the Tigers – you’re just showing us up and you really should get a pitch in the butt for that.

    While I’m ranting, are we really getting Hamanaka? Why? To play him where? In the OF, that already has Iihara and Aoki as fixtures, more or less, and the left-fielder-of-the-day, be it Hatakeyama or Fukuchi or Jamie (or Takeuchi)? Would he be better than any of those options? Why not get Nori instead? If the main focus for getting Hamanaka is that we need a right-handed batter, Nori’s a righty, and he would be an upgrade over Miyamoto (younger, and .266/13/64 versus .277/4/38 – they both have 12 errors, but I’m not sure how many of Nakamura’s came at 1B and how many at 3B).
    < /rant >

  • Kozo

    I don’t think Hamanaka would come to take a starting position, only be a righty option in the bench. At least that’s the only role that would make sense.

  • I know little about Hamanaka, but my gut reaction is the same. He’s surplus to needs, but it might be nice to have him on the bench.

    At the same time, we have several young guys who will develop pop if they are given a little time. And if Hatakeyama can fill in at 3rd, then he’s definitely good enough for LF. That’s a gross over-simplification of the situation the team is faced with, I know, but it seems that several people in very important places have forgotten how we finished last year and played the first two months of 2010. In other words, the pieces are there.

    The thing is, they just need to be allowed to grow–both individually and as a group. To be honest, what we really need more of is quality starting pitching (who doesn’t?). A power bat? Yes, we should be in the market for that. Does it absolutely have to be a right-handed power bat? Nope. A good hitter is a good hitter.

    As for today’s game… … … … ugh. Unfortunately, Yomiuri also won today, so the loss was in vain, and we got embarrassed in the process. Nakazawa was left in to allow nine runs…and all of them were earned?

    Nice work, Mssr’s Ogawa and Araki. Not only did you leave your prized rookie pitcher in long enough to give up Murton’s 211th hit, you also made sure that he suffered a nine run inning. In my eight-plus years of following NPB very closely, that’s something that I’ve never seen before. Not even close.

    My brain hurts.

    Rob, please feel free to rant away. We might as well start now because we probably won’t win more than one of our final three games this year.

  • This is all because that Takada pinbadge came out of the machine tonight. It meant that managerial mishaps would be the theme of the evening.

  • Kozo

    Oh BTW! Lim and Whitesell have been taken off the active roster. (Lim on Saturday, Whitesell on Sunday)

    Meaning both players are done playing for the year.

    Also done is Yoshinori, who could’ve started Saturday but apparently developed another blister, and thus will be shut down for the year.

  • Yep, not a lot of difference between Nakazawa’s treatment this time with that he suffered a the hands of Takada when he was left in to die at Chiba. I guess Araki is the common factor in the two games.

    Plus this time, he has the added bonus of making the historical highlight reel for the 211th hit. Lucky guy!

  • Apparently Lim wants to stay. In that case, sign him up!


    Though as always, with the Yakult front office things are never that simple………

    • Kozo

      Sanspo is reporting that the Swallows will try to hang on to Lim by offering him a 3 year deal. The article implies that the team is looking to pull out all the stops to keep Lim. A management source is quoted as saying “all other negotiations (i.e. D’Antona and Whitesell) will only commence after the Lim deal is done.”


      One of my students who keeps up on these kinds of things, says 3 years for 9-oku yen (approx. 11 million USD) is the kind off numbers being rumoured.