4/12/11 – Yomiuri (Away)

April 12th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Yomiuri Giants 9

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: L

(Yamaguchi)

 

Tokyo opened their delayed 2011 campaign with somewhat of a shambles of a performance as they were easily brushed aside by their beloved neighbours.

The Swallows’ starting lineup saw debuts for two players, import Wladimir Balentien and ex-Hanshin/Orix man Osamu Hamanaka, as well as the first appearance since 2009 for Keizo Kawashima. Aikawa was in his new-for-2011/earned-in-2010 no.5 slot while Aoki continued in the leadoff role.

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Hamanaka (LF)
  4. Whitesell (1B)
  5. Aikawa (C)
  6. Balentien (RF)
  7. Miyamoto (3B)
  8. Kawashima Keizo (SS)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

Ishikawa feels the pinchIshikawa made his now usual opening day start and was, well, very Ishikawa-esque, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) off 8 hits in his 6 innings. While he never looked his best, giving up a run in each of the 3rd, 4th and 6th innings, his team’s offence didn’t give him an ounce of support during his tenure on the mound, with the score at 3-0 Yomiuri going into the 7th.

In fact things were so bad that Yomiuri starter and all-around bitch-boy Tohno had a no hitter going until the 7th, when Hamanaka put paid to that by poking one up the middle to open the inning. The two Tokyo runs followed that inning as a Balentien double put two men in scoring positions for consecutive singles from Miyamoto and Kawabata (in for Kawashima who took one on the hand in the 6th) to make it 3-2 Yomiuri. Tohno was removed from the game and for a short while, Tokyo had some hope.

That hope was soon doused in lighter fuel and ignited with a flamethrower as Oshimoto took the mound for the bottom of the inning. After a strikeout to start the inning he gave up three back-to-back hits to Ramirez, Takahashi and Tohno, the last of which was over the fence in left to make it 6-3 Yomiuri. Game. Over.

Yomiuri would add three more from three hits in the 8th off youngster Hidaka, but he got absolutely no help from a calamitous infield. A fielder’s choice from Whitesell and later a miscommunication/straight f-up between the first baseman and Tanaka helped the Giants to a 9-3 Yomiuri Final.

So then, one to forget. Tokyo were outhit 14-4 and will need to improve drastically if they are to avoid the mini-series sweep in Kyushu 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

  • Christopher Pellegrini

    That wasn’t very fun to watch.

    Searching for positives…
    Balentien definitely possesses some pop.
    Young pitchers such as Hidaka and Hashimoto were good enough to make the opening day roster.

  • That wasn’t very fun to watch.

    Searching for positives…
    Balentien definitely possesses some pop.
    Young pitchers such as Hidaka and Hashimoto were good enough to make the opening day roster.

  • Kozo

    The last 2 years, we’ve lost the opener and bounced back and won the next two.

  • Anonymous

    Not too much fun at all, but at least Balentien got a debut hit, and maybe offers something with the bat (when he connects, the ball does definitely go some). The fielding was disappointing, Josh and Hiroyasu need to sort their collective shit out fast!

    Fingers crossed for a big improvement today…. Come on the boys….

  • KEIZO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 🙁

    • Yeah, it looks like Keizo Kawashima is going to be out of the lineup for a while. He broke a bone in his hand on an HBP. Poor guy.

      It’s a big opportunity for Kawabata though. Hopefully he can build on the promise he showed last year.

      • Kozo

        Shame it had to happen this way, but I was a person that thought Kawabata should have been starting ahead of Keizo.

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