5/26/11 – Orix (Home)

May 26th, 2011

Orix Buffaloes 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLDLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)


That’s right folks! That’s not a typo. The Swallows managed to score more points than their opponent. For those of you who don’t remember what that’s called, that’s called a win. Today’s lineup featured a minor tweak, dropping Tanaka down to the 3 spot and putting Fukuchi in the 2 spot. Hatakeyama got the night off, as Whitesell was given the start at first.

 Swallows Buffaloes
1CF Aoki1CF Sakaguchi
2LF Fukuchi22B Kajimoto
32B Tanaka3RF Taguchi
41B Whitesell41B Lee
5RF Balentien53B Hessman
63B Miyamoto6LF T-Okada
7C Kawamoto7SS Obiki
8SS Morioka8C Ito
9P Ishikawa9P Kisanuki


Yoshinori gets the win!

Yoshinori took the mound for the Swallows and got 3 quick outs to start the game. The Swallows got on the board in the bottom of the inning, and lead in a game for the first time since the first inning of the Rakuten game on the 20th. Things got started when Fukuchi got his first hit of the season driving a one out ball into shallow left field and using his legs to stretch it into a double. Kisanuki proceeded to have major control issues as he walked Tanaka and Whitesell on 8 consecutive pitches to load the bases. The wildness continued into Balentien’s at bat, as Kisanuki quickly fell behind 2-0. Kisanuki finally threw a strike low and inside, which Balentien dutifully drove to left field allowing Fukuchi and Tanaka to score. 2-0 Swallows Miyamoto and Kawamoto were not able to strech the lead but the damage was dealt. The two runs were the first time the Swallows have scored more than a single run in an inning since their May 15th game against Yokohama.

Yoshinori ran into some trouble in the second. After getting the first out by striking out Lee in 7 pitches, Yoshinori put Hessman on base via a dead ball. T-Okada followed by hitting a sharp single to right field. Balentien mishandled the ball a little allowing Hessman to proceed to third base with challenge. With one out and men on the corners Obiki took the second pitch he saw and got a hit into left, allowing Hessman to score. 2-1 Swallows Yoshinori settled down and got Ito to strikeout for out #2. The Swallows got out of the inning with a fine play by Morioka for the last out. Yoshinori managed to jam Kisanuki on the first pitch, but the sailed over Yoshinori’s head and was headed to an awkward no man’s land in front of the second base bag. Morioka managed to grab the high ball on the run and get a throw off to first that just barely got the runner out at first.

Morioka opened the next frame with a hit to center field. Despite some difficulties, Yoshinori managed to get a bunt down to advance Morioka to second. Aoki struck out looking on a questionable ball low and inside. With 2 out and a man on second Fukuchi got his bat around on a 2-1 ball for his second double of the game and season, which allowed Morioka to score. 3-1 Swallows

From there it was all pitching. Yoshinori allowed runners to reach base in each inning from the 3rd to the 7th, mostly through walks, but got through each jam by striking out Buffaloes. Yoshinori lasted until the eighth inning, before he handed the ball over to Lim for the ninth inning. Lim pitched a perfect ninth and sealed the win with a strikeout.


  • Despite starting the game hot, the Swallows offense only managed 1 hit and 2 walks after the second inning.
  • Yoshinori pitched 8 innings with 128 pitches, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 dead balls. He collected 13 strikeouts, which puts him in a tie for the CL lead with 50 on the season. Today’s win gives Yoshinori 5 for the season, which also puts him in a tie for first in the CL. Yoshinori is third in the final triple crown category with an ERA of 1.76.
  • Kawamoto started his second consecutive game. Catcher Masakazu Fukukawa was called up prior to yesterday’s game, which may indicate that Aikawa is dealing with a minor injury.
  • The Swallows still lead the CL. They hold a 1 game lead over the second place Dragons, and Carp are not too far behind with 1.5 games separating them from the Swallows.
  • The Swallows will have an off day tomorrow before playing 2 games over the weekend at the Seibu Dome.

Finally I’d like to remind everyone that we here at Tsubamegun are running a Takada Resignation Anniversay contest. We’ll be giving away nice prizes if you can creatively answer some simple questions. For more details click here.

Morioka, Fukuchi, and Yoshinori celebrate the win with Tsubakuro and the fans.

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.