6/9/11 – Orix (Away)

June 9th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Orix Buffaloes 1

Streak: Tied 1 Last 5: WWWLD

(Kyocera Dome)

 

Are you a pessimist? Or an optimist? These are the questions you need to ask yourself when examining today’s boxscore. What you see will be greatly influenced by your personality.

 Buffaloes Swallows
1CF Sakaguchi1CF Aoki
2RF Taguchi22B Tanaka
32B Goto3DH Whitesell
4LF T-Okada41B Hatakeyama
5DH Kitagawa5RF Balentien
61B Lee6LF Miyade
73B Baldiris73B Miyamoto
8C Ito8SS Morioka
9SS Obiki9C Aikawa
SPNakayamaSPYoshinori

Things didn’t start too well for Yoshinori as he walked Sakaguchi the leadoff man, who was dutifully bunted over to second by Taguchi who is hitting .353 (.455 in his previous 6 games). One out later, T-Okada drove him in with a single to open the scoring. 1-0 Buffaloes

That’s bad news. The good news was that those were the only hit and walk that Yoshinori would allow for the night. Unfortunately, Yoshinori’s night ended after the fourth inning as he left the game complaining about his side.

Hatake celebrates his 10th homerun with Miyamoto.

The Swallows bats ensured that he wouldn’t go down as the losing pitcher in top of the fourth, as Hatakeyama hit a solo homerun to start the inning. 1-1 All Balentien and Miyade followed with back-to-back singles but neither one was able to cross home and give the Swallows the lead.

With Yoshinori out, the Swallows turned to the bullpen that had been shakey of late. First Matsuoka pitched 2 innings for the second consecutive night. Unlike last night, however, he kept the Buffaloes off the board and despite allowing a hit, finished the night facing the minimum. Kyuko followed by pitching 1 and 1/3 innings of perfect ball. Oshimoto was brought in to face the right-handed Baldiris with one out in the eighth, and promptly gave up a hit. Thankfully the Buffaloes elected to bunt, and then groundout to end the inning.

While all this was going, on the Swallows’ bats were equally quite. Aoki managed to get a infield hit to start the fifth, but nothing came of that hit. Morioka got his second hit of the night to lead off the seventh, but again, the next 3 batters couldn’t bring him home. The eighth inning was just plain embarrassing as Hirano came in and struck out Whitesell, Hatakeyama, and Balentien, all swinging.

The Swallows got another man on in the top of the ninth, when Miyamoto hit a 1 out single to right. But the Swallows just simply followed the established pattern of the night and could not get him home. Lim was charged with getting the team out of the ninth by facing the Buffaloes top hitters. The results were questionable as he promptly gave up a hit to Sakaguchi to open the inning. Luckily, the Bufflaoes once again elected to get their hottest hitter, Taguchi, to bunt. With the Buffaloes’ toughest hitters out of the way Lim made things interesting by hitting Goto to put 2 men on base. But he was able to get out of the inning just fine by striking out T-Okada and inducing a infield fly from Kitagawa.

With the game now in extra innings, and time running out the Swallows had their last chance to score when Whitesell got 2 out double in the tenth. But all Hatake was able to do was groundout to short to end the night for the Swallows’ offense. Barnette was charged with protecting the tie, and did his job admirably by pitching a perfect tenth.

Notes

  • The Dragons lost tonight which means the Swallows were able to gain another half game on them.
  • It seems that Yoshinori’s injury was not serious and that he was taken out as a precaution. That said, it’s not yet clear if he will make his next scheduled start.
  • Every hitter except Aikawa and Tanaka got a hit for the Swallows.
  • As a team, the Swallows held the Buffaloes to 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 1 hit batsmen over 10 innings.
  • The Swallows end their season series with the Buffaloes with a 1-2-1 record.
  • The Swallows will now take their act to Kyushu for the weekend to face the Hawks.

Yoshinori pitched a decent game before he left.

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.

  • Kozo

    Speaking of the Hawks, 8 of their 15 wins against Central League teams have been shut outs. How fucked up is that?

  • That photo of Hatakeyama and Miyamoto doing a mid-section bump is just weird.

  • That photo of Hatakeyama and Miyamoto doing a mid-section bump is just weird.