4/19/11 – Chunichi (Home)

April 19th, 2011

Chunichi Dragons 2

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 2   Last 5: LLDWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo made it two wins in a row as they came out on top in fairly comfortable fashion against Chunichi, with Hatakeyama once again being the catalyst behind the Swallows’ upturn in fortunes.

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tannaka (2B)
  3. Takeuchi (LF)
  4. Hatakeyama (1B)
  5. Aikawa (C)
  6. Balentien (RF)
  7. Miyamoto (3B)
  8. Kawabata (SS)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

Ishikawa started and put in quite the shift, tossing 122 pitches over his 6 innings of work. But it was Chunichi who struck first in the top the 2nd. Wada led off the inning with a single, and after a Guzman strike out and walk for Blanco, Oshima singled up the middle to bring home the evergreen Wada from second for 1-0 Chunichi. Ishikawa eventually escaped the inning with the deficit remaining at just the one run, despite allowing the bases to become juiced with a second walk.

The lead would only last until the bottom of the inning, as man of the moment Hatakeyama crushed the second pitch he saw from Chunichi starter Nakata over the fence in left to tie things up at 1-1. That was the big man’s third homer in the last two games.

Another run followed in the 3rd, with a Kawabata leadoff double and the ever-efficient sacbunter that is Ishikawa laying the table for Tanaka to bring home the go-ahead run with a single for 2-1 Tokyo.

In the 5th, Kawabata led off what would be another scoring inning with a single, followed by another sacbunt from Ishikawa to put the runner at second. Aoki then worked a walk before Tanaka flew out to left for out number two. Timely singles then followed from Takeuchi (through the infield to right) and Hatakeyama (through the infield to left) which made things a little more comfy at 4-1 Tokyo.

In the 6th, the Dragons added their final run of the game, as a double, (yet another) Tanaka error and a run scoring grounder for Tanishige making it 4-2 Tokyo.

Hitless innings in relief then followed for Barnett, Matsuoka and Lim and 2011’s first win streak was secure with a 4-2 Tokyo Final.

Ishikawa got his first win of the season for his 6IP/5H/7K/4BB/2ER performance and his ERA sits at a healthy enough 3.00.

Lim registered his first save of the year in his third appearance and now just needs three more to reach the 100 NPB saves milestone.

Hatakeyama now has 5 RBIs in the two games in which he has started. Josh Whitesell now has some healthy competition for his spot indeed.

As a side effect of the switch to day games at Jingu in April, just 7,199 fans were officially at Jingu to witness the game, though as usual that figure is likely more than were actually present.

The two teams will come back tomorrow afternoon to do it all again.

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