9/7/11 – Yokohama (Away)

September 7th, 2011

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 4

Yokohama BayStars 0

Streak: Won 2  Last 5: WWLWW

(Yokohama Stadium)

If there’s one thing that’s been backwards over the past few years, it has been the difficulty Tokyo has had with Japan’s most-unfortunately nicknamed, and most unfortunate, club, the BayStars. Thankfully, that has changed.

Akagawa notched his second win with a 97-pitch, 4-hit, 6-strike out, no-walk seven innings – his best showing of late.

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 Tokyo Yokohama
1Aoki (CF)1Shimozono (RF)
2Tanaka (2B)2Ishikawa (SS)
3Kawabata (SS)3Sledge (LF)
4Hatakeyama (1B)4Murata (3B)
5Takeuchi (LF)5Nakamura (1B)
6Miyamoto (3B)6Kinjoh (CF)
7Balentien (RF)7Watanabe (2B)
8Aikawa (C)8Kurobane (C)
9Akagawa (P)9Kuniyoshi (P)

For 69, and the lead.

The game started well. Aoki was walked and, as always, Tanaka bunted, but what’s this? He reached base. No waste. Instead, surprise and joy. (Anytime Tanaka, who can hit, follows an Aoki success by not intentionally getting out, it’s a cause for celebration.)

Tanaka having missed the opportunity to give away an out, Kawabata did so and moved both runners into scoring position. Hatakeyama followed this with a hard grounder into center field for a single and two RBIs, which brought him to 69 for the season so far: best in the CL. 2-0 Tokyo.

Over the next four innings, Akagawa pitched well, Kuniyoshi not quite as well, and there were no real offensive stand-outs.

In the sixth, Hatake walked. Takeuchi sac-bunted him to second. Miyamoto popped out to right. Balentien walked. Aikawa then hit a line drive to right, bringing Hatake home, but not Balentien, who got nabbed. 3-0 Tokyo.

In the eighth, after Miyamoto popped out, Balentien singled, Aikawa pulled off a successful hit-and-run, and Iihara hit an RBI sac-fly. Aoki then popped out on the first pitch he faced. Even away, some in the Tokyo side are not about to give him any love when he does well, much less when he does that kind of junk. 4-0 Tokyo, Final.

Matsuoka pitched the eighth, giving up two hits and notching one K. Lim closed with a flawless 18-pitch 1-2-3 ninth to wrap up the win.

Same again tomorrow.

  • Mr No

    Not only is the #3 hitter a light-hitting shortstop, but he’s used to bunt… I don’t see this team getting too far into the playoffs. Speaking of the playoffs, are you guys going to give out information about getting tickets when they become available?

    • What we know will become what our readers know ASAP.

    • I think most of us here are just relieved that someone has pretty much nailed down the day-to-day shortstop position–with continued good health, it looks like Kawabata could turn out to be Miyamoto’s heir.

      And yes, he occasionally gets asked to Tak-bunt, but nowhere near as often as Tanaka and even less than Miyamoto.

      Actually, I’ve been surprised by the amount of pop that the kid has. Another year or so and I bet he’ll finish the season with more than 10 homers. Not that it’s a big help now, but worth the wait.

      And if you look at Kawabata’s stats, he’s fourth on the team in slugging behind Balentien, Hatakeyama and Whitesell. Not the best option for the three-hole, but definitely not the worst.