9/9/11 Hanshin (Home)

 September 9th, 2011

Hanshin Tigers 2

Tokyo Swallows 4

Streak: Won 4  Last 5: LWWWW


 The bumblebees forgot how to field a baseball properly, while Coco answers his critics.

WP: Tateyama (9-2) LP: Iwata (7-11) S: Lim (23)
 Tigers Swallows
2B Hirano1CF Aoki
2CF Shibata22B Tanaka
3SS Toritani3SS Kawabata
41B Arai41B Hatakeyama
5RF Murton5LF Iihara
63B Sekimoto 63B Miyamoto
7LF Lin7RF Balentien
8C Fujii8C Aikawa
9P Iwata9P Tateyama

This is how we do it. It's Friday night and I feel all right.

Tonight was a strange game for both sides. Hanshin ended the game with four errors while the Birds’ coaches made a few questionable calls that should have cost them the game but didn’t.

On par with their poor starts to a game, the Birds were down after a half of an inning. After getting the first two batters out very quickly, Tateyama gave up a double to Toritani. Arai followed that with a deep drive to center that barely cleared the center field fence. 2 – 0 Hanshin.

Murton flew out to Balentien to end the inning.

As the Birds came to bat in their half of the first, the Swallows fans were extremely vocal. Maybe it was due to a few moronic Tiger fans sitting in the Swallows side of the stadium. Or maybe they were just hoping for a good start to a game. In any event, Aoki started the inning of with a double down the right field line which led to quite a few cheers coming from the right-field bleachers. In an unusual move (HA!), Tanaka bunted Aoki over to third. Kawabata, catching the Hanshin infielders sleeping, bunted down the first-base line. As Aoki raced home, Iwata was trying to get Aoki out at the plate. Fortunately for us, he committed the first error of the evening and Aoki easily scored. 2 – 1 Hanshin.

Hatakeyama followed that with a single, with Kawabata advancing to third on the play. As the boys and girls in blue were jumping and shouting, hoping to at least even the score, Iihara disappointed by grounding into a double play to end the threat.

Both teams bats were kept in check until the Birds half of the 4th. “Boo” started off the inning with a double to right center. In a move questioned by all supporters in blue, Iihara was ordered to sac bunt “Boo” to third. However, he bunted right to the pitcher, Iwata, who promptly threw Boo out at third. Iihara made it to first without a throw. Up next was Miyamoto. He hit a grounder back up the middle that was aptly handled by Toritani. Toritani was able to force Iihara out at second, but Hanshin couldn’t complete the double play and Miyamoto was safe at first. Up next was Balentien. After a second inning strike out, “Coco” was looking to make contact. And make contact he did, as he hit a shot into the bumblebee side of the stadium, the Swallows fans erupted. 3 – 2 Tokyo.

Murton made a lucky diving catch to get Aikawa out and bring an end to the 4th.

The Birds would tack on one more in the 8th on another error by the bumblebees. First, though, Kawabata reached on a single to right. He was replaced by Miwa. “Boo” was up next. After battling off a few pitches, he finally connected and hit a rope down the left field line. Lin made a good play as the ball carreened off the wall. He picked it up cleanly and threw the ball to the infield. This is where the comedy ensued. Sekimoto was the one taking the throw. As he caught the ball and  turned to throw home, he must of realized that Miwa was not racing home because he stopped his throw mid-motion but the ball didn’t. It slipped out of his grip and bounced toward the mound. Miwa, reacting like an electrocuted cat, pranced home. 4 – 2 Tokyo.

To rub it in, Boo moved all the way to third and was replaced by Kawashima. Whitesell came into pitch hit but was unable to do anything, striking out swinging. Miyamoto flew out to left but not deep enough to score Kawashima. Balentein was walked on 4 straight pitches; a blatant non-intential walk.  With runners on the corners, Aikawa waddled up to the dish. Unfortunately, he popped out to short to end the inning.

Lim would close out the ninth for his 23rd save of the year.


  • Balentien now has 27 homers.
  • The home-plate umpire upset quite a few players on both sides of the diamond this evening. With Kanemoto the most vocal as he was called out in the top of the 8th. They were discussing the best dining places in Tokyo for over a minute, before Kanemoto finally conceded and went back to playing video games in the dugout.
  • The bumblebees had 4 errors this evening, with 2 leading to runs scored.
  • Tateyama is now 9 – 2


Well done, son. Well done.


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.

  • Baseball Oogie

    September: Better than August.

  • Scott

    8 games, 7 wins. I like me some September baseball, too!

  • Rob

    Yah, when Aoki and Tanaka struck out looking on three pitches each in the seventh I was worried “That’s it – the fix is in.” So it was nice to see the Tigers batters get the same strike zone.
    Hard fought game! Glad Tateyama’s back.

  • Christopher

    The Swallows fans were vocal due to a ‘few moronic Tigers fans sitting in the Swallows side’. What are you talking about? There are always Tigers fans in the Swallows side – its a natural state of Jingu. Maybe Swallows fans are getting behind the team at last.

    • Mr. Amano-Langtree,
      As we have discussed before, the Tigers fans in question are not the ones on the first base side. The writer is referring to the ones in the unreserved seats in the right field bleachers (specifically from section C almost all the way to the scoreboard in center). Away fans are not allowed to sit in that part of the stadium and are promptly removed.

      This has been the normal state of things for as long as we have been regular patrons of Jingu Stadium.

      • Christopher

        Ah I see – that wasn’t clear from the article. They’re not trying that trick again? Sometimes even I despair.