5/31/11 – Chiba (Away)

May 31st, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 3

Chiba Lotte Marines 1

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: LWLLW

(QVC Marine Field)

After their inept drubbing at the hands of Seibu on Sunday, the Swallows headed back to the scene of their lowest ebb under the previous manager to try and get the wheels back on their Inter-League campaign.



Tateyama (P)

Hatake punishes Lotte in the 6th

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Whitesell (DH)
  4. Hatakeyama (1B)
  5. Balentien (RF)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Morioka (SS)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Fukuchi (LF)



Ohtani (P)

  1. Okada (CF)
  2. Ishimine (LF)
  3. Iguchi (2B)
  4. Fukuura (1B)
  5. Satozaki (C)
  6. Kiyota (RF)
  7. Omatsu (DH)
  8. Imae (3B)
  9. Takahama (SS)

Tateyama started for the birds but didn’t get off to the best of starts in the 1st. He gave up what would be his only walk of the game to the second man he faced, which he followed up by allowing a single for Iguchi. A sacfly was then all that was needed from Fukuura to bring home the go-ahead run from third to make it 1-0 Chiba.

After that both starters were firmly in control of the game, and it looked like it would be the same old story for the impotent Tokyo offence as they managed just two hits through the first five innings.

But it was in the top of the 6th when the Swallows would get the kind of break that has deserted them of late. With two outs and the prospect of putting up yet another zero on the board, Tanaka hit a routine grounder to short. Only Takahama completely fluffed the throw to first allowing Tanaka to make it safely to second. Whitesell then worked a walk to occupy first before Hatakeyama hit one to the wall in left, scoring the two Tokyo men to put the score at 2-1 Tokyo.

With Tateyama holding onto the slender lead through to the end of the 8th, the Swallows then added an insurance run in the top of the 9th. Facing Marines’ reliever Itoh, Balentien got his second hit of the evening, a double off the rightfield fence. After Miyamoto flew out for the second out of the inning, Morioka hit an infield single to put men on the corners. Aikawa, back from his time on the bench (thank f*ck), then blooped one up the middle to score the big man from third for 3-1 Tokyo.

Lim took the mound for only the third time this Inter-League campaign in the bottom of the 9th, and despite completely losing the strike zone for a while as he gave up back to back one-out walks, he recovered his poise to bring home the crucial win with a 3-1 Tokyo Final.

Tateyama took the win (8IP/4H/4K/1BB/1ER) to put his record at 4-1/1.58. Now if we could only find a way to clone him.

Lim notched his 10th save of the year and his ERA now sits at 1.17.

Tokyo outhit Chiba 6-4 with Balentien (.358) the only Swallows player to manage more than the one hit.

After Araki’s pretty lousy performance on Sunday at shortstop, Morioka made some pretty impressive plays in the field tonight, which combined with the hustle he showed for his 9th inning infield single, should hopefully mean he gets a run in the team in Kawabata’s absence.

So let us hope it’s onwards and upwards for Tokyo as they return to Homeshoppingchannelwindyuglyconcretebowlbythebay tomorrow evening for the last game of the series.

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

  • Chunichi’s loss against Softbank tonight means that Tokyo are back atop of the CL, albeit joint top with the Dragons. 

    • Kozo

      We’re on top because our winning percentage is .003 higher than Chunichi’s. This is where the ties come in handy.

  • “Tateyama took the win (8IP/4H/4K/1BB/1ER) to put is record at 4-1/1.58. Now if we could only find a way to clone him.”

    Word. Tateyama and Aikawa were phenomenal during the second half of the former’s start. Even with rather pesky runners on first, they dictated the pace and ground their way out of trouble.

    On a separate note, it was nice to see Ogawa protest Satozaki’s screening of Aikawa on that Tak-bunt in the seventh. Even though he might have been a little too polite about it, it was good to see him spring out of the dugout without hesitation.

    Ogawa’s predecessor probably wouldn’t have done that.

    • Kozo

      So what exactly happened? From the outfield it just looked like Satozaki tripped over himself.

      • From what I remember, he seemed to run almost straight forward (as opposed to towards first), tripping over himself and the ball and completely blocking any chance Aikawa had of fielding the ball and throwing the advancing runner out at second.

        I think he knew exactly what he was doing after fluffing his bunt attempt.. 

  • Guest

    That was a fun game. It was my first trip to Chiba Marine Stadium, though I have been to the area several times for conventions or to see dinosaur exhibits or what have you. I liked the stadium myself. The fireworks after the 5th inning were pretty damn good as well.

    Aside from the #3 hitter (Iguchi? I don’t remember), the stats for all the players last night were horrible for the Marines. Is this the team that won it all last year? Are they in a slump or are the regulars sitting/hurt/irradiated?

    • I don’t mind the stadium myself. It’s comfortable enough (lot’s of different seating options too) and I’ve always had a fun time when I’ve been there (not taking into account performances on the field mind). I just think that given it’s location by the water it could be so much better…….

      The Marines are in somewhat of a slump of their own, with them having pretty much as shabby a record as us since Inter-League began. This is essentially the same team from last year, minus a key bat in Nishioka (moved to MLB) and their old closer Kobayashi (moved to Hanshin).

      But remember they weren’t the PL champions last year, placing 3rd, and I’d argue they won the Nippon Series by being the best form team come the tail end of the season rather than being the best team overall.  

  • Rob

    Very happy with Whitesell’s walk in the sixth. Nice patience.