8/18/11 – Yokohama (Home)

August 18th, 2011

Yokohama BayStars 0

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLWTW

(Jingu Stadium)

WP: Akagawa (1-0) LP: Leach (1-3) S: Barnette (1)

The Swallows decide to save Tateyama for more important teams (i.e. the Giants) and start Akagawa against the BayStars. Whitesell was again benched in favor of Miyade with a southpaw on the mound, and Aikawa was again benched in favor of Kawamoto. With the recent call up of young Nakamura we have to wonder if Aikawa is suffering from some sort of injury. Of course, optimists will point to Kawamoto’s history with Akagawa on the farm team. But enough with lineup commentary, let’s get on with the report! (What little there is to report.)

 BayStars Swallows
1RF Shimozono1CF Aoki
2SS Ishikawa22B Tanaka
3LF Sledge3SS Kawabata
43B Murata41B Hatakeyama
51B Harper5RF Balentien
6CF Kinjo63B Miyamoto
72B Fujita7LF Miyade
8C Hosoyamada8C Kawamoto
9P Leach9P Akagawa

Akagawa was making his third career start after finding a comfortable niche as a long reliever with the team this season. While Akagawa struggled with his control, walking 3 and hitting 2 batters, he managed to clean up his miscues with timely strikeouts (7 for the night). The offense also did their part to relieve some pressure from the young southpaw by scoring quickly in the bottom of the first. After Aoki grounded out, Hiroyasu hit a triple to put a man on third with just one out. Kawabta cashed him in immediately with a single for the Swallows’ lead. 1-0 Swallows

Despite the low score the game dragged as both pitchers, especially Brent Leach, had trouble locating the strike zone and got behind in the count often. But neither side really capitalized on on the other’s mistakes causing the game to drag at a snail’s pace without much excitement. The only other moment of excitement came in the bottom of the fourth when “BayStar Killer” Balentien came up to bat with one out. True to his newfound nickname, Balentien took the first pitch he saw and hit it into left field to extend the Swallows’ lead. 2-0 Swallows

The rest was a relatively boring pitcher’s duel with neither offense truly threatening to score. Matsuoka, Kyuko, Oshimoto, and Barnette held down the fort the rest of the way. As did Sanada, Onuma, and Ohara for the BayStars.

Akagawa got his first career win for his 5.2 innings of work, allowing 4 hits and the aforementioned walks and hit batsmen. Leach didn’t fare much worse in his 5.2 innings, allowing only 4 hits of his own and walking 4, while striking out 3.


  • The Swallows will now face the Giants in a 3 game series at Tokyo Dome with Tateyama, Muranaka, and Yoshinori as probable starters.
  • Leach managed to get 2 pickoffs in tonight’s game. The first in the second inning off an apparent Balentien mental lapse, and the second off Kawabata in the sixth.
  • Balentien’s solo homer was the 10th he’s hit off the BayStars in 14 games played between the 2 teams.
  • The Carp managed to complete their sweep of the Tigers and now sit in third place in a virtual tie with the Giants who sit in second. Only 1 game separates the fifth place Dragons with the second place Giants. Meanwhile, the Swallows sit 6 games above the fray.

Balentien hit a home run for the 4th game in a row.

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.

  • Six games up doesn’t feel too shabby after the mess that was last week.

    • Kozo

      We can thank the Carp and the Dragons for their performances against the Tigers and the Giants for that one.

      • Baseball Oogie

        Thank you, Carp and Dragons.

      • Amen to that.