6/3/11 – Hokkaido (Home)

June 3rd, 2011

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 0

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: LLWWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)


The Fighters are terrible house guests. They come into your house and beat all hell out of you. Be warned.

The Swallows:

Gold uniforms are classless enough to be a Hanshin thing.

1. Aoki (CF)
2. Tanaka (2B)
3. Whitesell (1B)
4. Hatakeyama (LF)
5. Balentien (RF)
6. Miyamoto (3B)
7. Morioka (SS)
8. Aikawa (C)
9. Yoshinori (P)
. . . although one could be forgiven for thinking Tokyo declined to field a team today.

The Fighters:
1. Tanaka (2B)
2. Iiyama (SS)
3. Itoi (CF)
4. Nakata (LF)
5. Inaba (1B)
6. You (RF)
7. Imanami (3B)
8. Tsuruoka (C)
9. Keppel (P)

Yoshinori got things off to an exciting start by walking three in the first, but managed to record three outs, one of which was a K, without giving up a run. Fans of classic fiction might recognize this as “foreshadowing”, though.

In the second, the tender-handed kid managed a two-K 1-2-3 side. Suspense, I assure you. Keppel was not doing a whole lot better yet, getting out without being scored on just in the nick of time himself.

In the top of the third, though, Yoshinori faced the top of Hokkaido’s order and gave up a homer to start. That was followed by a strike-out, then another solo homer, to Itoi. A K is the best thing a pitcher can do and giving up a round-tripper the worst, but they are not equal and opposite.

Walking (small, ringed) dick Nakata (I can’t stand that cocky punk) singled next and was driven in by You.

It wasn’t done, though. Yoshinori walked Imanami and gave up another RBI to Tsuruoka before finally getting out of the inning against Keppel. Yes, the whole order took a turn on Sato-kun. (He doesn’t get to be called by just his first name yet, if you ask me. You have to make your name before you pick your name. Don’t get me wrong, though – he’s good. Mostly.)

4-0 Hokkaido.

Keppel continued to struggle, hitting Whitesell and walking the Curaçao Cyclone, but didn’t hit the bat with the ball much and was, thus, safe.

Let’s minimize the pain and skip ahead to the 7th. Not unlike the third, it began with Sato-kun giving up a solo homer; another to Itoi. He then hit Nakata high and inside. Fair enough. That jerk should be beaned in every AB. In BP, too. Murata took over the running duties and Inaba drive him in before Sato-chan was finally benched in favor of Hashimoto, who gave up three hits, including one to the pitcher, Keppel, and an RBI to Tanaka. 8-0 Hokkaido.

Luckily, our pitching has been lights out and our offense has been scoring like a Korean pop star at a conference of retired Japanese ladies. And the hot girl at the bar is going to approach you and want to talk about your manga collection, too.

Barnette came in in the eighth. (Welcome back, Tony. Our condolences. You get a pass for tonight.) 1K, 2H – one RBI. 9-0 Hokkaido.

Chikara Onodera finished the game for us. Two hits.

Yoshinori earned the loss. Keppel lucked into the win. The Birds seek revenge tomorrow night.

We get the point, though. Business and baseball mix. The PL is better in every respect but money and attention. It’s like hiking in Red Wings vs. Chanel heels.

Watanabe, die already. Watanabe’s Yomiuri successor, please understand that your former boss was the worst thing to happen to baseball in Japan ever and that the CL is inferior to a not particularly world-class PL because you guys actively block improvement.

Tomorrow and Sunday are day games, which is a good thing.

  • Bob Whitesell

    We were at the game last night. Not a good welcome to Japan. Hopefully, the Swallows will do better today. The Whitesell family.

    • Welcome to Japan.

      I’m sure you enjoyed today’s game a little more!

      • Guest

        And hopefully you were at Sunday’s game!

  • Guest

    Please tell Josh to watch his language when he hits a foul ball that he thinks he should have nailed. We can hear him all the in right field.

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