7/17/11 – Yomiuri (Away)

July 17th, 2011

Yomiuri Giants 3

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: WDWLL

(Tokyo Dome)

 

It’s been a while since Tokyo lost two games in a row. How long exactly? Well, maybe you recall, with a healthy dose of disgust, that disaster of a series versus Saitama on May 28th-29th. So it’s over a month and a half. And it finally happened again.

Tokyo:

  1. Aoki (CF)

    The pitch that lost the game for Masubuchi and the Tokyo Swallows.

  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Whitesell (1B)
  4. Hatakeyama (LF)
  5. Balentien (RF)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Kawabata (SS)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Masubuchi (P)
Yomiuri:
  1. Sakamoto (SS)
  2. Takahashi (LF)
  3. Ogasawara (1B)
  4. Chono (CF)
  5. Ohmura (RF)
  6. Abe (C)
  7. Fields (3B)
  8. Fujimura (2B)
  9. Ono (P)

Tokyo threatened first in the top of the second inning when Balentien led things off with a double to center and then was moved over to third on Miyamoto’s single. But Balentien got himself into a pickle on a grounder back to the mound that left runners on first and second instead and effectively ended the threat.

I think that’s the third time we’ve seen him make a base-running error in the last few weeks.

But the birds attacked once again in the fourth. After Miyamoto’s groundout, Kawabata singled and Aikawa doubled to create another chance for the visitors. Masubuchi struck went down on strikes to put two outs on the board and put all the pressure on Aoki.

Aoki came through with a single up the middle that scored both runners. 2-0 Tokyo.

But the happiness would quickly subside in the bottom of that inning. Masubuchi gave up his first hit of the afternoon, a double, to Takahashi to get some momentum going for the home team. Two outs later, Omura worked a walk.

And then up came Abe. Beaned in his last at bat, he was likely doubly satisfied when he clubbed one over the wall in right to create what would prove to be the final scoreline. 3-2 Yomiuri.

The only other time that the birds would get a bit of a rally going was in the fifth when Whitesell singled and Hatakeyama walked to start things off. But Balentien, Miyamoto and Kawabata sat down in order to set the tone for the rest of the game. Tokyo managed to get only one more runner on base after that–Aoki’s single in the sixth was effectively the end of the team’s offense.

Ono earned his first win of 2011 for his five innings of work in which he gave up two runs off of eight hits.

Masubuchi took the loss but deserves praise for lasting seven and one third innings. The three earned runs came from five total hits. He also mixed in five strikeouts, but his control continues to dog him as he walked two and beaned two.

Masubuchi’s ERA dropped further to 4.62 despite Abe’s three-run round-tripper, and his record leveled out at five wins and five losses.

Kyuko and Matsuoka held the Giants hitless the rest of the way (which was only two outs actually).

Amazingly, the Carp were able to upset the Dragons once again to help Tokyo maintain its seven game advantage at the top of the Central League standings. Hanshin, on the other hand, continues to win games and is now only a half game behind Chunichi.

Tokyo heads to Yokohama for a rare Monday night game tonight with the game scheduled to start at 6 PM.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini