8/4/11 – Chunichi (Away)

August 4th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Chunichi Dragons 2

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: DDWDL

(Nagoya Dome)

Tateyama pitched eight solid innings of two run baseball, but the Swallows bats couldn’t get anything of substance going against Chunichi starter Soto or the Dragons’ bullpen as they fell in the final game of the series.

Us:

Tateyama put in a good shift, but to no avail.

  1. Aoki (CF)
  2. Tanaka (2B)
  3. Kawabata (SS)
  4. Hatakeyama (LF)
  5. Whitesell (1B)
  6. Miyamoto (3B)
  7. Balentien (RF)
  8. Aikawa (C)
  9. Tateyama (P)
Them:
  1. Araki (SS)
  2. Fujii (CF)
  3. Guzman (RF)
  4. Morino (3B)
  5. Wada (LF)
  6. Nakata (1B)
  7. Donoue (2B)
  8. Oda (C)
  9. Soto (P)

Tateyama gave up two hits in the 1st, but managed to keep anyone from reaching home thanks to a bit of help from Fujii’s poor baserunning for out number two, and some quality fielding from Tanaka (diving retrieval of a Morino grounder) for the final out of the inning.

After that both pitchers kept things quiet offence-wise until Chunichi took the lead in the bottom of the 4th. Guzman got his second hit of the evening,  a one out double up the rightfield foul line, to get things moving. Morino then flew out to centre for out number two before Wada worked a walk to put two men on. Chunichi podger Nakata then proceeded to hit a single to left that scored Guzman from second for 1-0 Chunichi. With men on first and second once more, Donoue grounded out on the first pitch he faced to let Tateyama out of the inning with the deficit at just the one run.

And that Chunichi lead was wiped out in the top of the 5th, Balentien getting the inning off to a good start with an infield single. Then, after showing the positive side of his game with the bat during this series, chubster Nakata then showed the negative side (ie anything that involves movement of his body via his legs) as he couldn’t control an Aikawa grounder to first and was awarded an error as the Swallows found themselves with men on first and second with no outs.

The ever reliable Tateyama then layed down a sacbunt to put two men in scoring position with one out. Aoki then hit a grounder up the third base line and Morino, possibly thinking it may roll foul, let the ball run. But it stayed fair and the Swallows had the tying run on the board, 1-1.

With men on the corners Tanaka could only fly out to shallow centre for out number two, with Aikawa remaining a third. Kawabata then struck out and what would turn out to be Tokyo’s best chance of the game was squandered.

Soto kept things well under control through to the end of his seven innings of work, despite the Venezuelan’s rather annoying habit of punching the air after what seemed like each and every out.

Tateyama meanwhile, would end up giving up the key run in the 6th. A leadoff single for Fujii was followed up by Guzman’s third hit and second double of the game to put men on second and third with no outs. A Morino groundout to second was good enough to make it 2-1 Chunichi, and Tateyama then did well to keep the Dragons’ lead at just the one as he struck out Wada and got Nakata to ground out to end the inning.

Tateyama wouldn’t allow another hit through to the end of his eight innings of work, finishing the game with a 8IP/103P/6H/5K/1BB/2ER line. He would ultimately end up with the loss to put his record at 8-2/1.69. It was his first loss in twelve starts.

After Soto’s seven innings Asao came in for the 8th, and despite letting a man reach second with two outs on the board, Whitesell could only strike out to leave the runner there.

Then it was the turn of Chunichi closer Iwase in the 9th, and he allowed a two-out single to Aikawa, but then got Ihara to ground out to short and that was that, 2-1 Chunichi Final.

Tokyo outhit Chunichi 8-6, Aoki (.310) with the only multi-hit game care of his three infield singles.

The Swallows now head to Osaka for a key series with Hanshin at the Kyocera/Osaka Dome, hoping their bats can muster more momentum against the Tigers’ pitching than they did against the Dragons’.
About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto

  • With Hanshin losing again, and Hiroshima completing their sweep of Yokohama (and 5th straight win), the Carp are now amazingly in 2nd place in the CL. 

    Tokyo’s lead is now down to 7.5 games.

  • Quoting the TS twitter feed, “Tokyo’s bats go limp in Nagoya,” I couldn’t have said it better myself. 

    In each of the games we’ve won since the All-Bore break, we haven’t plated more than three runs. I’d say it’s high time that Aoki starts hitting balls out of the infield again.