7/30/11 – Yomiuri (Home)

July 30th, 2011

Yomiuri Giants 2

Tokyo Swallows 2

Streak: Tied 1  Last 5: LWLWD

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

After gritty pitching win last night, the Swallows looked to take the series win against the Giants at Jingu.

 Swallows Giants
1CF Aoki1SS Sakamoto
2SS K. Kawashima23B Kamei
33B Kawabata3LF Ramirez
4LF Hatakeyama4CF Chono
51B Whitesell5RF Y. Takahashi
62B Tanaka6C Abe
7RF Balentien71B Ogasawara
8C Aikawa82B Fujimura
9P Yoshinori9P Tono

 With Miyamoto taking a rest day the Swallows start Keizo at short and move Kawabata to third. Furthermore, Tanaka is moved down the lineup to the sixth spot where Miyamoto batted last night.

Yoshinori’s comeback start did not start with a bang as he walked Sakamoto to start the game. After Kamei bunted Sakamoto to second, Yoshinori managed to induce a ground out from Ramirez to make it 2 out with a man on third. Unfortunately, Yoshinori couldn’t get his pitches under control and walked Chono and Takahashi back-to-back to load the bases. Yoshinori’s control issues finally came to a head as he pluncked Abe to force in the opening run of the game. 1-0 Giants Thankfully, Yoshinori was able to limit the damage to just that run as he got Ogasawara to fly out to left.

Things did not start smoothly for the young Yoshinori.

The Swallows came right back in the bottom of the inning. Keizo hit a one out single to center to get a man on board. While Kawabata could only manage a foul out, Hatakeyama was able to draw a walk to get 2 men on base with 2 out for Whitesell. Josh took the second pitch he saw and hit a towering shot towards left field. The ball narrowly missed clearing the fence, but it bounced off the wall for a double, scoring Keizo from second. 1-1 All

Yoshinori settled down after his first inning mis-adventures.

After the first inning both pitcher’s settled down somewhat, in that they allowed multiple runners on base a few times, but managed to hold the other team off the board. The Swallows finally got on the board again in the sixth. Balentien open the inning by getting on base thanks to a bad throw by Kamei. Aikawa singled to center to put men on the corners with no out. Yoshinori did his part by bunting Aikaws to second for the first out. With one out, the Giants decide to intentionally walk Aoki to load the bases. Keizo made the Giants pay by getting a fly ball deep enough into right center to score Balentien from third. 2-1 Swallows The sac fly ended Tono’s night, and Takagi came in to face Kawabata for the final out.

With one out and a man on first in the top of the seventh inning, the skies opened up and forced a 20 minute rain delay. After play resumed, Yoshinori managed to get Sakamoto to fly out for out number 2. Yoshinori, who had thrown 102 pitches at that point, was taken out in favor of Kyuko. Kyuko managed to get the last out to end the seventh.

The Swallows offense couldn’t extend the lead any further and Barnette kept the Giants off the board in the eighth, setting the table for Lim in the ninth. After getting a fly out from Ogasawara to open the inning, Lim gave up a walk to Fujimura. Fields followed with a broken bat blooper to put men on first and second with just 1 out. Lim reestablished control by striking out Sakamoto to get to within an out of the save. Unfortunately Lim was not able to close the door as he allowed a single to center to Tani. 2-2 All It was no consolation that Lim got Ramirez to end the inning soon after.

With the game already well past the 4 hour mark, the Swallows only had the bottom of the inning to get a win. Takeuchi got things going by getting a lead off single. Kawabata followed with a bunt over to second for the inning’s first out. Predictably, the Giants chose to intentionally walk Hatakeyama to face not Whitesell, who was removed earlier in the game for Miwa. Not-Whitesell turned out to be Yuichi, who came close to grounding into a double play, but some alert running by Hatakeyama allowed the runners to advance. With two outs and men on second and third it was up to Tanaka to win the game. Unfortunately Hiroyasu was not able to be a hero, as he grounded out to second to end the game.

A disappointing tie as the Swallows came within an out from getting the outright win. Tonight’s blown save was Lim’s second against the Giants this season. In 8 appearances against the Giants this season Lim has gotten a win, a hold, and 3 saves to go with his 2 blown saves. Tonight was also the third time in his last 5 appearances in which he has given up runs. Ogawa noted after the game that Lim has not quite been himself this year, but it doesn’t seem like the team is willing to make a move in the closer position.

The Swallows look to win the series tomorrow night at Jingu.

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.

  • Lim hasn’t been himself all year really. Hopefully he can turn things around in the near future.