8/28/11 – Hanshin (Away)

August 28th, 2011

Tokyo Swallows 0

Hanshin Tigers 1

Streak: Lost 3    Last 5: WDLLL

(Koshien)

The Swallows lost their third in a row as they failed to figure out the in-form Randy Messenger.

Yoshinori was good, but Messenger was better

Tokyo:

Kawashima SS
Aoki CF
Guiel LF
Hatakeyama 1B
Balentien RF
Miyamoto 3B
Tanaka 2B
Kawamoto C
Yoshinori P

Hanshin:

Hirano 2B
Shibata CF
Toritani SS
Arai 3B
Murton RF
Kanemoto LF
Morita 1B
Fujii C
Messenger P

Yoshinori threw a pretty decent game this time and managed to avoid any major meltdowns like the one he suffered last week in the first inning against the Giants.

His ‘quality start’ consisted of a full seven frames pitched, one run off of six hits, and six strikeouts. However, as usual he also issued five walks and had two wild pitches to humanize his numbers a bit.

That one earned run came at the end of his start. In the bottom of the seventh, Yoshinori commenced proceedings with a strikeout of Morita. Then things started to wobble just a bit. Fujii singled, and then Hiyama (pinch-hitting for Messenger) followed in kind. Hirano then swatted the first pitch he was offered into left to score Fujii from second. 1-0 Final.

And that was it really. The Swallows only managed four hits in this entire game. Messenger was that good. He threw 118 pitches through seven innings, struck out 10, didn’t walk anyone, and kept Tokyo off the board. His record improved to 9-3 while Yoshinori’s sank back to .500 (6-6).

The Swallows are now a mere 3.5 games ahead of Chunichi, Yomiuri and Hanshin who are all tied for second place in the Central League.

The Swallows now have the day off before welcoming the fifth place Carp to town for a three game series from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

Notes:

Aoki was moved to second in the lineup as Ogawa searched to give number one a boost. He has failed to regain his timing at the plate, and his slow slide into mediocrity continues. Hopefully Takao Ise, one of the team’s batting coaches, has him on a diet of watching video of his own at-bats like he did with Balentien.

Guiel nearly maimed a few Hanshin supporters when his bat slipped out of his hands during his at-bat in the fourth. There’s a high screen protecting the seats behind the home team’s dugout, so the bat tumbled harmlessly into the dugout.

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