5/29/11 – Saitama (Away)

May 29th, 2011

Tokyo Swallows 1

Saitama Seibu Lions 10

Streak: Lost 2   Last 5: DLWLL

(Seibu Dome)


Add pinches of shoddy fielding to a large helping of inept control on the mound, and the result is an absolute drubbing at the hands of the Lions out in Saitama.

Tokyo’s Lineup:

1. Aoki CF
2. Tanaka 2B
3. Miyade LF
4. Hatakeyama 1B
5. Balentien RF
6. Guiel DH
7. Miyamoto 3B
8. Araki SS
9. Fukukawa C

Saitama’s Lineup:

1. Kataoka 2B
2. Kuriyama CF
3. Nakajima SS
4. Nakamura 3B
5. Fernandez DH
6. Asomura 1B
7. Sakata LF
8. Ginjiro C
9. Akiyama RF

This game featured Masubuchi starting for the Swallows, and he didn’t last long. A couple of walks in the first resulted in a run for the home team, and he conceded another run in the second on a couple of doubles.

The misery continued in the third when he gave up consecutive singles to Kuriyama, Nakajima and Nakamura. Two more runs scored, and it was 4-0 Saitama.

Third year lefty, Katsuki Akagawa, took Masubuchi’s place in the fourth and gave up an unearned run (Araki throwing error) in a performance that didn’t inspire much confidence. 5-0 Saitama.


Masubuchi has a tough afternoon

Tokyo finally got on the board in the top of the fifth when Miyamoto, who had earlier advanced to second on a passed ball after reaching base on a single, was able to easily trot home thanks to Fukukawa’s first and only hit of the season found the gap between left and center. A stand-up double for Tokyo’s third-string catcher, and a 5-1 Saitama lead.

But Akagawa worked himself into an impressive jam in the bottom of that frame. Unable to locate his inside pitches, he walked Nakamura and then followed that with a single to Fernandez. He then misfired his throw to first on Asomura’s sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher, and that loaded the bases with no outs.

Veteran infielder, Hirao, made Akagawa pay with a single to center that scored two. And that was the end of Akagawa’s afternoon. He threw 38 pitches through one and 0/3 innings.

Hashimoto was brought on to clean up the mess, but he also gave up a pair of RBI hits, so the score after five was a very ugly 9-1 Saitama.

Saitama’s final run of the evening came off of their former teammate Chikara Onodera, Tokyo’s new reliever picked up in last week’s trade that sent infielder Onizaki to the Lions. It was his first appearance of the year, and it wasn’t particularly pretty.

He started off by walking Asomura and then gave up back-to-back singles that resulted in Asomura crossing home plate. 10-1 Final.

This was an absolutely embarrassing game to watch as bad play mixed with bad luck and resulted in the surrendering of nine earned runs. And Tokyo’s bats continue to slumber as the team was outhit 15-8.

Masubuchi took the loss and saw his ERA rise to 5.40 while his record worsened to 2-3 through seven starts.

The Swallows now have a Tuesday-Wednesday date with Chiba, the defending NPB champs.

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

  • Worst performance of the season so far I’d say. Ineptitude across the board.

    Just looking at that lineup told me we would be in for a tough day. I can handle Guiel over Whitesell, though I don’r particularly agree with it, but Miyade? Fukukawa? Really….!? 

    I didn’t realise it was 2008 again.

    It seems Ogawa may be going down the same route as Takada did when the team was in a rut, by starting to tinker with the lineup each day in an increasing state of panic.

    Oh, and our stock of shortstops is seriously lacking in any real quality. As relatively inexperienced as he may be, Kawabata has been sorely missed since his injury. I’d be tempted to put Hatake at third and revert Miyamoto back to his traditional shortstop position. That would open first for Whitesell and leave the starting leftfield slot being the only real dilemma.

    Let’s hope the team can start to turn things around from Tuesday at Chiba. At least they’ll have the platform of a Tateyama start to help them.

  • The birds are now in second place, a game behind Chunichi. Hiroshima are 1.5 games back in third.

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