4/27/11 – Yomiuri (Home)

April 27th, 2011

Yomiuri Giants 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 3 (Unbeaten in 10)   Last 5: WDWWW

(Shizuoka Kusanagi Stadium)


The Swallows looked to even the season series at two games apiece against their crosstown rivals. Laboring through a rain-delayed Shizuoka night, the Swallows showed that yesterday was no fluke.


Yoshinori was solid for five innings, and that was enough for the win.

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

The Giants actually got on the board  first via a squeeze, but the birds came right back in the bottom of that frame with two runs of their own. And those runs came around in magnificent fashion.

Hatakeyama pulled the Swallows level when he pulled a 1-0 offspeed pitch on the outside of the plate into the leftfield stands. It was his sixth of the year.

One out later, Balentien also took Yomiuri’s starter, Utsumi, yard on the fourth consecutive inside pitch he was offered. Fastball. Bang. 2-1 Tokyo.

Yomiuri did not pose much of a threat after that although they did get two runners on base in the third and seventh innings.

Tokyo, on the other hand, posted another run in the fourth when Miyamoto came through with a base hit to plate Iihara from second base. 3-1 Tokyo.

The final run of the game came via Balentien’s bat in the sixth after a protracted battle with Yomiuri’s first reliever, Nishimura. On the eighth pitch of the encounter, Wladimir was able to straighten a pitch on the outside of the plate out and ended up blasting it over the wall in center. 4-1 Final.

Yoshinori got the win for his five innings of work (only 72 pitches). He gave up one earned run on four hits, two walks and two strikeouts. His ERA now sits at a very admirable 1.35, but the big question is when we should be expecting the first blister.

Yoshinori was followed by Oshimoto (4.50), Barnette (0.00), Matsuoka (2.57), and Lim (1.29) who pitched a scoreless inning of relief  each. Lim attacked all three hitters that he faced and struck all of them out.

Barnette also got through his inning on three K’s (plus one hit and a runner reaching on a Hatakeyama error). He has not allowed an earned run in his six appearances this season. The extra insurance that he provides out of the bullpen is a very nice surprise this year for the team, and he can also spot start where necessary.

Tokyo has now won eight games in a row (interrupted by two draws), and that’s largely without the help of Aoki on offense during the second half of the current run of good form.

Tanaka, Hatakeyama, Balentien and Miyamoto, with plenty of help from Aikawa and Kawabata, have picked up the slack. All this winning amounts to a record of five games above .500 for Tokyo.

Game three of the Shizuoka series is tomorrow evening starting at 6PM.

Utsumi said they were just raindrops on his cheeks.


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

  • Any idea why Miwa replaced Aoki sometime after the delay?

    • No. I’d just guess that it was a precautionary measure after him sitting round doing nothing for an hour during the rain delay.

  • MrNo

    May 3rd will be Pink Lady day at Jingu! The duo is going to throw out the first pitch. Anyone else remember Pink Lady and Jeff TV show from the 80s in the US?

    • I think we’d be better off NOT remembering that show.

      Mostly, I was annoying the heck out of Kozo by singing Southpaw at karaoke all the time. I’d love it if Yoshinori and Masaru Satoh got to reprise their stunning Pink Lady performance from a few years ago…

  • Something to know about last night’s game on yahoo.
    Apparently Yoshinori’s catcher and sempai/ mentor during his high school days at Sendai Yukuei, who was missing since the 3.11 earthquakes was found dead, before the game yesterday. Yoshinori found this out before taking the mound. Yesterday’s winning-ball will be sent to the family of the catcher.
    My condolences.

    • Wow. Touching story.

      Good he could get the win that would have made his sempai proud.

  • Also, I was so pissed when they didn’t call the game cold in the 5th win the Swallows were up, and they had to delay the game because of the hard rain that didn’t look like it would stop. I don’t want to believe in conspiracy theories, but if the scores were the other way around, I am almost positive the game would have been called, and the G’s awarded with a 5th inning win.

    • “I am almost positive the game would have been called, and the G’s awarded with a 5th inning win.”

      You, sir, are absolutely, 100% correct.

    • These were my thoughts exactly too.