8/16/11 Yokohama (Home)

August 16th, 2011

Yokohama BayStars 1

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 5

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: LLWLW

(Jingu Stadium)

Tokyo returned to winnings ways thanks to Ishikawa, “Boo” and “Coco”.

Line-ups

 Yakult
 Aoki  CF
 Tanaka  2B
 Kawabata  SS
 Hatakeyama  LF
 Whitesell  1B
 Miyamoto  3B
 Balentien  RF
 Kawamoto  C
 Ishikawa  P

 

 Yokohama
 Shimozono  RF
 Ishikawa  SS
 Sledge  LF
 Murata  3B
 Nakamura  1B
 Kanejoh  CF
 Watanabe  2B
 Honyamada  C
 Takasaki  P

 

Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low, Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

After the incredible finish on Sunday, Swallows fans were hoping for a better showing tonight. Ishikawa was on the mound for the Birds. Things got off to a rocky start for him. Shimozono started the game with a single to center. He was bunted to second by Ishikawa. Sledge then hit a shot to center. Aoki had a terrific opportunity to throw Shimozono out at the plate. Unfortunately his throw hit the pitchers mound and was too late. 1 – 0 Yokohama

What turned out to be a pattern the rest of the night, the Swallows turned a double play to end the inning.

After numerous (and generous) strikeouts for both pitchers, we skip ahead to the bottom of the 4th. Tanaka, (who has earned my MVP vote thus far) started things off with a single to right. Kawabata swallowed his pride and bunted him over to second. “Boo” hits the first of two timely hits to center to knock in Tanaka. 1 – 1

Things got a little interesting as Watanabe committed an error on Whitesell’s grounder to put men on 1st and 2nd. Miyamoto then flew out to right. “Coco” followed that with a walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, Kawamoto flew out to Watanabe in shallow center to end the inning.

Ishikawa made quick work of the Baystars in the top half of the 5th. The first two batters flew out. After Honyamada got on base, he was quickly erased by a bullet from Kawamoto to Whitesell.

In the bottom of the 5th, the Birds got on the board two more times. After a quick out by Ishikawa, Aoki got on base. In a change that shocked me, Tanaka was given the green light and got a hit. As I have mentioned numerous times (echoed by my colleagues as well), I absolutely despise bunting with one out. Tanaka is an exceptional contact hitter and his bat has often been wasted because he has been forced into bunting over Aoki. In any event, Ogura must have been drinking at lunch and throughout batting practice because he forgot to tell Tanaka to bunt. Guess what? Tanaka got a hit! (Sorry about that rant. Had to get it out of my sytem.) So, now we have runners on 1st and 2nd and one out. Up walks “Boo”. After shaking his head at a few questionable called strikes (HP ump was consistent for both sides, though), “Boo” hits what normally would be a ball back up the middle to score Aoki. 2 – 1 Tokyo

Tanaka moved to third on the hit. Up next was Mr. Whitesell. I use the salutation “Mr.” because when he swings his bat, he is out to hurt the ball. So, I would like to stay on his good-side. Needless to say, he absolutely brings the hammer on the 2nd pitch he saw and hits a rope to right, easily scoring Tanaka. 3 – 1 Tokyo

Miyamoto ends the inning by grounding out to 1st.

Ishikawa continues to dominate over the next three innings. In the top of the 8th, though, he made things a little difficult for himself by fumbling a short ball down the 1st base line. However, his infielders quickly fixed that by getting the second double play of the game to end the inning.

Ushida was the new pitcher for Yokohama. He was nervous the entire time he was in the game. First, Whitesell started off the 8th with a walk and was replaced by Miwa. Miyamoto bunted him over to second. Up next was “Coco”. Ushida threw a wild pitch and Miwa moved to third. In the end it didn’t matter because on the 2-2 pitch from Ushida, “Coco” skied the ball over the left field wall. It was his 22nd homer of the season. 5 – 1 Tokyo

Kawamoto and Ishikawa both struck out to end the inning.

Ishikawa took to the mound hoping to get another complete game. After striking out Ishikawa ( no known relation) Sledge got his third hit of the game. He was quickly dispensed as Tanaka started the game ending double-play.

Notes:

  • Ishikawa went the distance, giving up 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5.
  • “Coco” now leads Sledge by 2 for the HR title in the Central league.
  • Sledge continues to lead the RBI category, though, with 57.
  • Tomorrow’s hurlers look to be Shichijo for Tokyo and Leach for Yokohama.

Scoring Summary

YS YB
  1st  Sledge singled in Shimozono 0 1
  4th  Hatakeyama singles to center, scoring Tanaka 1 1
5th  Hatakeyama singles to center, scoring Aoki  2 1
  5th  Whitesell singles to right, scoring Tanaka  3 1
  8th  Balentien hits a 2-run HR, scores Miwa  5 1

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.

  • Rob

    Could we rename the Tak-bunt? Ogawa really has made it his own.
    (The bunt formerly known as Tak? Og-bunt?)

    • Tradition, young man. Tradition. It’s like retiring a number. The pointless, harmful, reflexive sac-bunt deployed mainly because the manager can’t think of what to do and knows only one play will forever be known as the “Tak-bunt”.

      • Rob

        Heh – point taken!
        The one before Balentien’s HR in this game was especially perplexing, but Balentien saved the day.