7/15/11 – Yomiuri (Away)

July 15th, 2011

Yomiuri Giants 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WWWDW

(Tokyo Dome)

The Birds look to continue their strong performance of late and run their unbeaten streak against Yomiuri to 10.

Tokyo:

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. Muranaka (P)

Yomiuri (newspaper #2)

1. Sakamoto (SS)
2. Kamei (1B)
3. Ohmura (RF)
4. Chono (CF)
5. Abe (C)
6. Fields (3B)
7. Tani (LF)
8. Fujimura (2B)
9. Sawamura

Things started well for the Swallows in the first inning. After Aoki and Tanaka decided it was still too hot to get on base and were easy outs for Sawamura, Whitesell decided it was ok for him to get on base. He got a 2-out walk. Not to be out done, Hatekayama battled Sawamura for 8 pitches and got himself a walk. This set the table for this poor man’s favorite off-season acquisition, Balentien. Although he has been struggling of late, he came through in the first tonight. He did so by hitting a two-out double to left-center that scored Whitesell from second. If “Boo” had made a better effort (and more on his poor effort in a moment), he probably would have scored as well. 1-0 Tokyo

Y-M-C-A!! Oh sorry. Yeahhhhhh!!!!! 1-0 good guys.

With runners on second and third and two out, Miyamoto came to the plate.  Unfortunately, he grounded out to end the inning.

Giants went down 1-2-3 in their half of the first.

Nothing of interest happened until the bottom of the third. Fujimura hit a ball hard between Tanaka and Whitesell with Tanaka diving to stop it. Unfortunately, Fujimura was running like a bag-snatcher and was safe at first. Sawamura was up next. Getting his “Tanaka” on, he bunted Fujimura over to second. One out. Sakamoto flew out to Aoki to make it two outs with Fujimura still on second. Up next was Kamei. He hits a line drive to left and Fujimura was moving again. Here is where I question “Boo” and his effort. He catches the ball on one bounce, about 65 meters from home plate. (Time for a quick side note. I used to play baseball, just like nearly every kid in America. When we took batting practice, those not hitting had to be in the outfield. Not to waste time, our coaches would challenge us to throw it to the backstop behind home. As a 14 year-old I never, EVER had a problem doing this. Ok, back to the action) And what does “Boo” proceed to do, throw the ball to Miyamoto who is standing pretty much on the mound. From the distance he was at and being a professional ball player, you would think he could at least make the effort to throw home to get the runner at the plate. But not our “Boo”. 1-1 

The silver lining in that “throw” was Kamei (like most) was expecting the throw to go home. But, because Miyamoto “cut it off”, Kamei was cut down in a run-down to end the inning.

Not much happened until the 6th. In HOLY F#$@ING SH%T moment #1, Tanaka led off the inning with a DEEEEEEPPPP (row 4) homer to left. 2-1 Tokyo

HOLY F#$@ING SH%T moment #1

Our clean-up boys followed that with a ground-out by Whitesell (who in this reporters eyes looks like he has an injury because he was gimping around all night) a walk by “Boo” and a double-play by “Coco”. Way to feed off of that HOLY F#$@ING SH%T moment.

The Birds would threaten again in the 7th, but Sawamura eventually closed the doors on them. The Giants could not muster much of anything the rest of the way. But before the final out could be called, HOLY F#$@ING SH%T moment #2 happened. Chono was up to bat with two outs. He battled to a 3-2 count. And just as Lim was about to deliver his final pitch, a tremendous earthquake started shaking the Kanto area. Reports said it was a 5.5 bad boy up in Tochigi. As I was sitting in front of my plasma, doing my best impersonation of Homer J. Simpson, I hoped this was not a sign that the gods were backing Newspaper #2. Fortunately, after a few moments for all to recover their wits, action resumed. Lim acted like nothing happened and struck out Chono to end the game.

Notes:

  • With Newspaper #1 (Chunichi) losing at home to the Toyo Carp, Swallows now have a 7 game lead.
  • Sawamura pitched 8 innings and threw 120 pitches. He gave up 2 runs and lost.
  • Muranaka pitched 6 innings and threw 80 pitches. He gave up 1 run and was the winner. He was voted the “Exciting player” by Yahoo.
  • 37518 were in attendance
  • Tomorrow’s hurlers look to be Yamamoto for Tokyo and Nishimura for Newspaper #2

Follow-up to my post from last week, Mr. Watkins has profusely apologized to me and to all of the loyal Swallows fans. He has posted on our lovely site a few times about this. {Please note that this is the only loss for the Swallows in the last two weeks} As part of his punishment, he will be buying the drinks the next time you see him!!! So, please come to the bleachers in Jingu and ask for him. He will be more than happy to buy you a drink. (Editor’s note: this offer expires by the end of July)

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.

  • Heck yes. 

    I had no idea what was happening during the earthquake stoppage. Fascinating.

    Briskly paced game meant I could post the clips before my commute.  For those that missed it:

    http://bit.ly/nS2Yy1

    • Lim didn’t even so much as flinch. There was an official announcement at the stadium for everyone to sit tight as the wobbling subsided, and then Lim threw a game-ending strike three a few seconds later.

      Nice nice!

  • Rob

    Yah, not a happy play by Hatakeyama. I saw the throw and though “What was that?”
    Even with a weak throw like that I thought there was a chance of getting the runner at home if the throw had been on-line, but it wasn’t. In his defense, he’s not a left-fielder, he just plays one on TV.

  • Kozo

    Muranaka was removed from the active roster today, although because of the All Star break he can be recalled without missing a start. I suspect the team did this so they could carry an extra reliever (Akagawa) and to deprive Muranaka of some service time.