8/7/11 Hanshin (Away)

August 7th, 2011

Tokyo Swallows 2

Hanshin Tigers 5

Streak: Lost 4   Last 5: DLLLL

(Kyocera Dome)

The Birds try to salvage at least one win against the 2nd place Tigers, before riding the shinkansen south to Hiroshima.

Tokyo:

1.  Kawashima  (SS)
2.  Aoki (CF)
3.  Hatakeyama (LF)
4.  Whitesell (1B)
5.  Takeuchi (RF)
6.  Kawabata (3B)
7.  Tanaka  (2B)
8.  Aikawa (C)
9.  Masubuchi (P)

Hanshin:

1.  Hirano (CF)
2.  Uemoto (2B)
3.  Toritani (SS)
4.  Arai (3B)
5.  Brazell (1B)
6.  Kanemoto (LF)
7.  Shibata (RF)
8.  Fuji (C)
9.  Tsuru (P)

Tonight was the last of three games in the “Cell” dome; Hanshin’s home away from Koshien. As the 93rd high school tournament gets in to full swing at Koshien, the Swallows need to figure out the unnatural lighting in the Kyocera dome. After losing the last 2 nights, Ogawa looked to shake things up with the order.

After a quiet first inning for both sides, the top of the second looked promising for the Birds. Takeuchi started things of with a walk. Tanaka, wait, I mean Kawabata bunted him over to second. And then Tanaka was up. He proceeded to hit a nice double to left scoring Takeuchi.  1-0 Tokyo

Aikawa then struck out for the second out of the inning. Up next was Schnoochi-boochi Masubuchi (see Kevin Smith). Looking like anything but a pitcher, Masubuchi hits a shot passed the short-stop scoring Tanaka from second.  2-0 Tokyo

The inning kept going as Kawashima singled to right and Aoki walked to load the bases. “Boo” came to the plate. “Boo” might have been the fans #1 choice for the All-star game, but I can assure you he was not hearing any support at this moment. After taking a few cuts and working the count to 2-2, “Boo” went down on strikes. The bumblebees were happy. Let’s take a moment for them to write some more sh#t on their shirts and pants. (cue elevator music) ….

Ok, were back.

The excitement picked up in the bottom of the third. Murton (skinny ginger) came in as a pitch-hitter. He promptly grounded out. Then Snoochi-boochi wished he was probably somewhere else. He gave up back-to-back singles to Hirano and Uemoto. Walked Toritani to load the bases. Sweating a little bit more, up walks Arai. Of course, Snoochi-boochi strikes him out. Now 2 outs and up walks Brazell (hefty ginger). Hefty ginger hits a timely double to center knocking in everyone. 3-2 Hanshin.

Up next was Kanemoto. He hits a shot to right. Brazell thinking he is skinny ginger, tries to score from second. Well, I think we all know what happens. He was tagged out at home and ends that threat.

Tokyo gave Hanshin a nice scare in the top half of the 5th. With one out, Aoki reached base on an error by Toritani. “Boo” hits a shot to right and Aoki, thinking he is superhuman, tries to score from first. Like the hefty ginger before him, he is eventually forced out. “Boo” moves to second on the throw. In his weekly beaning moment (no joke), Whitesell takes first. Normally this would signal my man “Coco” walking up to the plate. However, he ain’t playing tonight. So up comes Takeuchi. What happens? He’s called out on strikes. btw, that wasn’t really a scare was it?

In their half of the 5th, Hanshin decided it was time to give the bird to the Birds. After Toritani walked, Arai made the bleacher bums in left extremely happy by knocking a shot their way. 5-2 Hanshin.

In my notes, I wrote game over. Although 4 more innings of baseball would be played, the game was over. The final was 5-2 to the bumblebees of Kyocera.

Hey Kobayashi, we got a new Hot dog champion here.

Well, this ends a disappointing week for the birds. They won once, drew another and lost 4.

They travel down to Hiroshima for a 3-game set before heading back to Jingu to face these same bumblebees.

As I have nicknamed them, the Hanshin bees begin their 3-week voyage around Japan and away from Koshien looking for some honey. We will be playing them one week into this voyage. Hopefully our bats will wake-up and our pitchers will throw like its April/May again. Let’s hope a week of living out of a suitcase hinders the bees and helps the Birds.

Notes:

  • Swallows and Tigers both have 41 wins. However, Tokyo has 12 ties to only 2 for Hanshin.
  • Tokyo now only has a 5 game lead on the bumblebees.
  • 30,163 attendees for this match
  • No idea who will be pitching against Hiroshima on Tuesday
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.