6/29/11 – Yomiuri (Away)

June 29th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5

Yomiuri Giants 5

Streak: Tied 1 Last 5: WWLWD

(Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture)


In just about the only manner that will preclude my groaning about it, the Swallows managed a tie after a scary start as they continue to help the people of Fukushima by preventing them from having to watch a Gomiuri victory.


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


  1. Sakamoto (SS)
  2. Kamei (3B)
  3. Chono (CF)
  4. Ramirez (LF)
  5. Ogasawara (1B)
  6. Tani (RF)
  7. Abe (C)
  8. Wakiya (2B)
  9. Kaneto (P)

Aoki started off the game with a base hit, which was immediately and predictably followed by a great effort on behalf of the opposition in the form of a pointless, self-destructive first-inning sac-bunt. A waste, which should always be lustily booed. Two more outs quickly followed.

Mikinori Kato began his first start of the season shakily, to say the least. After walking Sakamoto on a full count, Kato threw a low outside ball followed by a high slider, which Kamei deposited in the right field stands. Chono and Ramirez then popped out before Kato got messy again, walking Ogasawara, who made it to third on a deep Tani single, then scored on an Abe line drive to center. He then walked Wakiya to load the bases. Luckily, Kaneto was at bat and grounded out on the first pitch he faced. 3-0 Yomiuri.

In the second, Miyamoto managed a base hit, but the inning ended after three batters nonetheless as Kawabata grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Kato started the inning at the top of the order again and, again, got into a full count with Sakamoto. This time, though, he won the face-off with a strike-out, then went on to get Kamei to ground out.

In the third, Aoki reached first on a Kamei error at third, but quickly got caught on a Tanaka hit-and-run.

In the bottom half of the inning, Ramirez and Ogasawara reminded us of why no one but a Giant should swing at the first pitch and popped out before ani did the same on more pitches.

Finally, in the fourth, the Birds left the nest with a Whitesell solo HR before the next three hitters went down easily, all on low pitch counts: 2 for Hatake, 3 for Balentien, one for Miyamoto. (Shinya, what did I just say?) 3-1 Yomiuri.

Kato recorded his third 1-2-3 side, then the Birds really crapped on the Giants’ parade.

Aikawa singled, Kato bunted him over and made it to first safely. Aoki then drove Aikawa in and Kato to third, after which Tanaka showed why he should not be bunting every time Aoki gets on first and drilled a two-run triple. 4-3 Tokyo.

Yomiuri quickly equalized, though. With two outs, Chono learned from his mistake and made Kato throw a lot before singling. Rami-chan didn’t learn, but didn’t need to, which put men on first and second. Next up was Ogasawara. He’s no Hatake, but he hit a deep single that drove Chono in and Ramirez to third before Kato got Tani out on a fly to left. 4-4.

Tokyo regained the lead when Miyamoto walked and reached second on a Kawabata bunt. Kaneto then walked Aikawa, too, and was replaced by Micheal. Miyade pinch-hit, knocking a blooping little RBI base hit mere feet from Abe. 5-4 Tokyo.

Kyuko took the mound in the sixth and got started by beaning Abe, which is the only way his getting on base is acceptable. Three more tidy outs and we were up.

Whitesell singled, was replaced on first by the fleet-footed Miwa, who was promptly nabbed in another GIDP, this one by Hatake.

Oshimoto came in in the seventh and got unlucky when a Balentien fumble in right allowed Chono to get two extra bases on a single, then score on a Ramirez single. 5-5, Final.

The inconstant hurler then redeemed himself a bit, striking out Abe and pinch-hitter Fujimura in a 1-2-3 inning.

Barnette pitched the ninth and Lim closed in the tenth.

Tokyo will face the Giants again tomorrow, at the Tokyo Dome.