9/22/11 – Chunichi (Away)

September 22th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2

Chunichi Dragons 3

Streak: Lost 2  Last 5: WWTLL

(Nagoya Dome)

W: Yoshimi (15-3) L: Tateyama (10-3) S: Iwase (31)

The Swallows landed in Nagoya looking to create some distance between them and the second place Dragons. The Dragons, on the other hand, were playing their first game after learning of the impending departure of their strict but super successful manager. Both teams sent their ace to the mound with the Swallows starting Tateyama, and the Dragons starting Yoshimi.

 Swallows Dragons
1CF Aoki12B Araki
22B Tanaka2SS Ibata
3SS Kawabata33B Morino
41B Hatakeyama41B Blanco
5LF Takeuchi5C Tanishige
63B Miyamoto6LF T. Donoue
7RF Balentien7RF Hirata
8C Aikawa8CF Oshima
9P Tateyama9P Yoshimi

The Swallows started things off with an Aoki single, and a Tanaka bunt over to second. With 52 sac bunts Hiroyasu is slowly, but surely, approaching Miyamoto’s NPB record of 67 sac bunts in a season. Kawabata was walked to bring Hatakeyama up to bat with one out with men on first and second. Hatake did his job by working the count full by fouling off 7 pitches, getting a pitch to hit, and sending that pitch into left field to score Aoki for the go ahead run. 1-0 Swallows Takeuchi DIDN’T do his job grounding out to Yoshimi for a 1-6-3 after battling for 8 pitches.

The Swallows got another chance in the third after Tanaka, Kawabata, and Hatake got consecutive 2 out singles to load the bases. Unfortunately, Takeuchi wasn’t able to deliver the key blow and the Swallows couldn’t extend their lead.

Meanwhile, Tateyama was having an uncharacteristically shaky night on the mound. While the ace had a no hitter going through 5 innings, he had allowed a decidedly un-Tateyama like 3 walks through those innings. Things finally came to a head in the sixth inning. Things started ominously with a lead off walk to Araki on 4 straight pitches. Ibata bunted Araki over to second for the first out. It looked like Tateyama would be able to work his way out of the jam after he got Morino to pop out to Hiroyasu for out number 2. But after falling behind early to Blanco, the Dominican ended Tateyama’s no-hitter with a sharp line drive single to left to score Araki. 1-1 All Tanishige followed with a double off the center field wall to score Blanco and put the Dragons ahead. 2-1 Dragons The Dragons managed to end Tateyama’s night once Donoue followed Tanishige with a RBI single. 3-1 Swallows Oshimoto came in for Tateyama and ended up loading the bases with an infield hit by Hirata and a walk to Oshima, but he managed to get the job done against Yoshimi, inducing a ground out.

The Swallows got hits in both the seventh and eighth but couldn’t take back the lead. Matsuoka and Tetsuya Yamamoto pitched the seventh and eighth, respectively and managed to keep the Dragons off the board despite allowing multiple runners in their respective innings.

It came down to the ninth inning, with the Dragons sending out Iwase to close the game. Miyamoto struck out for out number 1. But Balentien and Aikawa hit back-to-back singles to give hope to the good guys. Keizo Kawashima wasn’t able to follow with a hit, but did manage to move Balentien to third with a fielder’s choice to first. Balentien scored after Aoki singled to center. 3-2 Dragons With two out and men on first and second Hiroyasu sent a 1-0 pitch to straight away center but Oshima was able to track the hit for the final out.


  • The win puts the Dragons within 3.5 games of the Swallows with 3 more games left to play in the series.
  • The Swallows outhit the Dragons 11-5, but allowed 8 total walks to the Dragons. The Dragons only allowed 1 walk.
  • The Dragons have now won their last 3 games.

Tateyama had a rough night on the mound.

About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.

  • A lot of wastefulness going on last night (Takeuchi I’m looking at you).

  • If only Takeuchi had nailed Tanishige to prevent the third run from scoring… 
    The good thing was that our guys at least scared Iwase on the mound!

  • Rob

    Do the batters assume that they can take the night off whenever Tateyama starts? I don’t remember him getting much run support this season (or support from the bullpen from that matter). Grr.

    • Absolutely. He’s had rotten luck this year in those respects.