8/24/11 – Chunichi (Home)

August 24th, 2011

Chunichi Dragons 6

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 6 

Streak:  Tied 1   Last 5:  LLWWD

(Jingu Stadium)


Our guys like to keep ’em close. Tonight was one to convert the infidels: Scoring right off the bat and a close game all the way to accompany the half-price beer. It’s also, as Tsubamegun regulars will know, another chance for your humble interlocutor to wonder what he makes of Shichijo, who was on a short leash again this evening.
 Chunichi Tokyo
1Araki (SS)1Aoki (CF)
2Ohshima (CF)2Tanaka (2B)
3Morino (3B)3Kawabata (SS)
4Wada (LF)4Hatakeyama (1B)
5Tanishige (C)5Balentien (RF)
6Guzman (RF)6Miyamoto (3B)
7Nakata (1B)7Guiel (LF)
8Donoue (2B)8Aikawa (C)
9Chen (P)9Shichijo (P)

As is becoming a pattern, Shichijo got an out, then gave up a big one: a triple to Ohshima, which was soon followed by a successful Morino sac-fly. He followed that by walking Wada and giving up a single to Tanishige before finally striking out Guzman to end the side. Thank the kami of Jingu that the Dragons did the same dumb thing we would’ve done and gave up an out. This looked like it could’ve gone worse. 1-0 Chunichi.

The Swallows struck back quickly, though. Aoki led off with a hit; Tanaka, of course, sac-bunted him over; then Kawabata hit a big RBI double, as he has been doing more and more lately. This was immediately followed by a Hatakeyama two-run homer. 3-1 Tokyo.

In the second, the runs were reversed. Shichijo got Nakata out, but then gave up a single, struck out Chen, and returned to the top of the order to give up three straight doubles that brought in three runs. 4-3 Chunichi.

Fan-favorite Aaron Colin Guiel, back in the line-up, knocked a double to start the side for the Birds. Aikawa grounded out, but moved Guiel to third, then Morioka came in to pinch hit for Shichijo. No big surprise there. He hit an RBI double. Aoki then reached first on an error before Tanaka hit a weak one bag to the mound. 4-4.

Oshimoto took the mound in the third and promptly gave up a home run to Tanishige. 5-4 Chunichi.

Hisamoto took over the pitching for Chunichi in the third and walked Kawabata and Hatake. Balentien singled, but Kawabata got nabbed. Never fear, though. Miyamoto singled to load the bases. Guiel then came through with another double – this one for two runs. Aikawa and Oshimoto struck out to end the inning. 6-5 Tokyo.

In the fifth, Suzuki took the mound for Chunichi.

Watanabe stepped in for Tokyo in the sixth, Matsuoka the seventh, and Barnette the eighth. That’s when the tying run came, on a Donoue solo home run. 6-6, Final.

Kyuko (2 batters) and Lim (1 batter) closed.

Yes, that’s 14 ties.


  • Kozo

    For those who want an objective measure of the drawing power of cheap beer, here are the numbers. The Swallows drew 25477 fans tonight, which is 9295 more fans than the previous night.

    Also, Hatakeyama’s 58 RBIs ties a career high he set 3 years ago.

    • Rob

      Oh, nuts. I saw the crowd on TV and thought “Wow, winning baseball really WILL put butts in seats!”

      I was thinking Shichijo-Chen was going to be unstoppable force-immovable object. Shichijo gives up a ton of runs nearly every start, and Chen never gets much run support. Which one of these trends would end?

      • Kozo

        Not sure where you get the idea that Shichijo always gives up tons of runs. Prior to his last 2 bad starts, Shichijo had given up more than 2 runs only twice. Granted the sample is still very limited, but rather than being consistently bad he’s just been wildly inconsistent.

        • Rob

          Wow, you’re right. I think I’ve just happened to see all the bad starts and miss the better ones. Heavens, he’s undefeated – 4-0 – he must be doing something right.

          • I can sympathize a bit, Rob. Shichijo reminds a bit of Oshimoto in that it would be possible, by seeing him on the wrong days, to think he really sucked and to be shocked by the numbers. I kind of feel like my turn in the writing rota keeps coinciding with guys having bad days that fit a pattern. When I go back and look, it turns out such performances rarely repeat more than once.

    • Mac

      I told you on Tuesday we would get at least 23000! I’ll let you know how much beer is drunk by the crowd tonight.

  • Baseball Oogie

    Is it wrong that I’m rooting for draws at this point?

    • Yes. Deeply, deeply wrong. You need to go to Tsubamegun confession, which takes place at a Tokyo bar, where you ply me with single malts until you can trick me into saying ties don’t really, really suck.

      Breaking the record for most ties in a season will be funny years from now, and beats losing for sure, but is still frustrating in the moment.

    • Kozo

      Ties will get us into the playoffs, and maybe even the pennant this year. But if we can’t close people out we will no doubt suffer an early playoff exit.

      We must expect better!

      • We can take advantage of the ties-counting-as-wins thing if we finish first. What I fear is that may actually be a strategy.

        • Rob

          Just Play To Tie!

          • Rob, you have no idea of the vitriol of my rants against the tie. You have hit on the most accurate slogan going for the Birds, though. You get points for that.