5/22/11 – Fukuoka (Home)

May 22nd, 2011

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 9

Tokyo Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 4   Last 5: WLLLL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)


I blame this loss on modern technology. The downpour from about three until 5:30PM would have rendered this game unplayable five years ago. But now everyone has weather radar apps on their phones, so things went on as planned.



11 hits, 5 doubles, 6 earned runs. Ouch.

1. Kawasaki SS
2. Honda 2B
3. Uchikawa LF
4. Kokubo 1B
5. Tamura RF
6. Matsuda 3B
7. Hasegawa CF
8. Hosokawa C
9. Setsu P


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

OK, here’s what you need to know.

One of the starting pitchers was very hittable (Masubuchi).

Fielders with weak range can only be effectively hidden in the outfield corners if the opposition doesn’t repeatedly hit it over there (Hatakeyama).

It’s hard to build a comeback when only one hitter gets on base more than once during the game (Miyamoto).

With two outs on the board, and multiple runners on base, the Hawks were able to post two runs in each of the first two frames by hitting in Hatakeyama’s direction. Tokyo’s cleanup hitter often gets the first step right but has no extra gear when he’s tracking a fly ball. It’s almost like he becomes entranced by the white orb as it speeds imminently towards the holy Jingu turf.

Tokyo 0-4 Fukuoka after two.

Masubuchi then gave up three consecutive doubles in the fifth to end his soggy evening. Two more runs crossed the plate. 6-0 Fukuoka.

Tokyo finally scored a run in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a Aikawa triple, but by the end of that inning the Hawks had out-hit the home side 11 to five.

Katoh came in to pitch the sixth and gave up two homers to the tune of three runs to create the final scoreline. 9-1 Fukuoka.


Akagawa pitched two full innings in his first appearance of the year and only allowed one base runner. He struck out three and guaranteed that he’ll get some more time on the mound in the near future.

Other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot to be excited about. Tokyo’s 3-4-5 went a combined 1-11.

That’s four losses in a row for Tokyo who now hold a mere one game advantage over Hiroshima in the Central League standings.

Game two of this series is at 6PM Monday evening–weather permitting.


We've seen this before.

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

  • Kozo

    Kawabata left the game in the first after complaining of discomfort in his right hamstring. It seems that Kawabata had injured the hammy after fouling a ball off of it last Sunday (vs. Yokohama). Which is why he was held out of the Fighters’ series. It appears that the Kawabata will be taken off the active roster today.


  •  One of the ugliest games I’ve seen in a while. At least I had good company to entertain ourselves despite the score and the weather.

  • Hawks series are always pretty nasty for us. Tokyo has yet to post a winning record against them since IL play began.

    Can’t we just go back to playing Yokohama again. Please?

  • Rob (vivid taman)

    I like that Katoh’s a quick worker, but getting guys out is also important. In his defense, the HR Uchikawa hit was just good hitting. High and outside, and he still pulled it into the LF stands. I am soooo glad he didn’t end up with another CL team.