7/1/11 Hiroshima (Away)

July 1, 2011

Hiroshima Toyo Carp 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Streak: Won 1      Last 5: LWDDW

(Mazda Stadium)

 

After two disappointing ties against 4th placed Yomiuri, Tokyo closed out the 5th placed Carp tonight. After a slow June, Balentien began July like it was May.

Here are the lineups:

Tokyo:

  1. Aoki (CF)

    燕の伏兵藤本、意地の一発「僕も必死」

    In a rehearsal for the new Lion King stage performance that will be performed before the upcoming All-star games, Fujimoto holds the Swallows doll up high.

  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Whitesell (1B)
  4. Hatakeyama (LF)
  5. Kawabata (SS)
  6. Balentien (RF)
  7. Fujimoto (3B)
  8. Kawamoto (C)
  9. Ishikawa (P)

Hiroshima

  1. Higashide (2B)
  2. Yamamoto (3B)
  3. Maru (LF)
  4. Kurihara (1B)
  5. Iou (RF)
  6. Akamatsu (CF)
  7. Ishihara (C)
  8. Kimura (SS)
  9. Maeda (P)

Tonight’s game matched Tokyo against the early 2011 season surprise leader, Toyo Hiroshima Carp. Since then, Tokyo has worked hard to get to the top of the standings, despite a disappointing showing in inter-league play. Hiroshima, on the other hand, has struggled and have fallen in the standings. One would hope that this did not get past the attention of Swallows players and coaches.

Things looked promising as Aoki started the game off with a single to right. Taking his usual orders and showing bunt for the one zillionth time in his career, Tanaka bunted Aoki over to second. Up came Whitesell, down went Whitesell. Maeda struck him out for the 2nd out of the inning. Hatakeyama couldn’t do much better as he  went down swinging.

Ishikawa took the hill for the bottom half of the inning. He promptly preceded to strike out Higashide for the first out of the inning. Yamamoto hit a single up the middle and that was the end of the no-hitter. In a move that looked to catch the Swallows off guard, Maru bunted for an infield hit down the third base line. With runners on first and second and only one out, those Carp fans who made it to the game on time were hoping to strike first. Their clean-up man was up. Thankfully for those Yakult fans in attendance, Kurihara grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the top half of the second, Kawabata flew out to short to start the inning. Up next was …
Balentien. And as we have come to expect this great addition to the team to do, he hit a 2-1 pitch out to the left field bleachers. 1-0 Tokyo

The “Moto” boys, Fuji and Kawa could not extend the inning and were quick outs for Maeda.

After two innings of pretty good pitching, it was Hiroshima’s turn to bat in the bottom half of the 5th. Up first was Akamatsu. He got a single to left. Ishihara followed with a single to center. This put runners on 1st and 2nd and nobody out. Kimura bunted them over and now Hiroshima had runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out. Up came Maeda. Helping himself, Maeda hit a single to the 1st base side scoring Akamatsu. Ishihara tried to score on the play but was thrown out at home. 1-1

Maeda moved to second on the play at the plate. Higashide then struck out to end the inning.

Now with the game tied, the Swallows must have been thinking about their inability to finish the deal the last few nights. However, they were not the ones to get squeamish this evening. That honor went to Hiroshima.

Things were moving along smoothly for both sides until the ninth. Whitesell grounded out to first to start the inning. Hiroshima brought in Ueno to pitch to Hatakeyama. “Boo” promptly hit a double and was replaced on the bases by Noguchi. Kawabata then grounded out to make it 2 outs and a runner on 2nd. Balentien drew a walk and that brought up Fujimoto. Fujimoto, starting for the first time in awhile, made the manager look like a genius. With the game on the line, 2 on and 2 out, Fujimoto knocked one into the right field bleachers. 4-1 Tokyo

Kawamoto and Yuichi got on base but Aoki ended the threat with a fly ball to right.

Oshimoto took to the mound for the Swallows in the bottom of the ninth. After some late inning struggles, Swallows fans were hoping for a simple 1-2-3 inning. Luckily, that is what happened. The Carp went down in order to end the game.

Notes

  • Fujimoto was the man of the match.
  • 17355 fans were in attendance.
  • This game was played in just under 2 hours and 50 minutes.
  • Tomorrow’s predicted hurlers are Yamamoto for Tokyo and Shinoda for Carp.
  • First pitch will be at 2 pm, good seats still available.
About Scott

Scott is an avid fan of the underdog. He spent his childhood cheering for the Chicago White Sox and hating all teams from New York. Once he moved to Tokyo, he quickly directed this same hatred toward the tenants of the Tokyo Dome. Thus began his support of the Swallows (and anyone playing against the indoor Tokyo team).
In his mind, there is not a better place to be than at Jingu stadium watching the Swallows from the bleachers, drinking a nice cold drink, and cheering along with the extremely knowledgeable Swallows fans.