10/2/11 – Yokohama (Away)

October 2nd, 2011

Tokyo Swallows 4

Yokohama BayStars 3

Streak: Won 1   Last 5: WWLLW

(Yokohama Stadium)

After watching its young pitchers get knocked about the park for the past two days, Tokyo looked to salvage a bit of pride against the recently very feisty BayStars.

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W: Hidaka (2-0) L: Takasaki (5-14) S: Lim (30)

 Tokyo Yokohama
1Aoki CF1Shimozono LF
2Fukuchi LF2Watanabe SS
3Kawabata SS3Tsutsugoh 1B
4Hatakeyama 1B4Murata 3B
5Balentien RF5Naito RF
6Miyamoto 3B6Matsumoto CF
7Tanaka 2B7Fujita 2B
8Aikawa C8Hosoyamada C
9Yamamoto P9Takasaki P

Tokyo opened the scoring on a solo Hatakeyama effort into the very top of the bleachers in left in the top of the fourth. His 23rd homer of the year made it 1-0 Tokyo.

But Yokohama answered in the bottom of the inning in the form of a Murata bomb into the visitor’s section. 1-1.

Straight pudding.

Then it was Tokyo’s turn. Aikawa’s second single in as many at-bats was followed by a Yamamoto sac bunt and an Aoki RBI double to put the Swallows back in front. 2-1 Tokyo.

But the home side replied once again. Watanabe’s two out infield single was later rewarded with an Aikawa throwing error when Watanabe was in the process of swiping second. Tsutsugoh then lofted one high off the wall in left for a double and the satisfaction of again leveling the score. 2-2.

Tokyo up again in the top of the sixth. After two outs from Hatakeyama and Balentien, Miyamoto, Tanaka and Aikawa showered left field with a double, a single and another double to plate two more runs and put the Swallows back in the lead. 4-2 Tokyo.

Yokohama didn’t answer for a while, but things got hairy in the bottom of the ninth with Lim on the mound trying to protecting the two run lead. After getting the first out on a pop fly to short, pinch-hitter, Aranami, fouled off most of what he saw and finally poked a grounder through the gap between short and third.

That was promptly followed by a soft Ide grounder to short that was a little too slow to be picked up and turned into an out. Shimozono then hit a fielder’s choice to short that very nearly became a game-ending 6-4-3 double play, but the throw to first didn’t make it in time, and the result was runners on the corners with two outs. Very unlucky for Lim, and bad news for Tokyo.

Watanabe then came to the plate representing the winning run. The 3-1 pitch is when he finally came through for the home team with a tricky one-hopper to Kawabata’s left. He got a glove on it, but couldn’t keep it in front of him, and Aranami scored from third. 3-2 Tokyo.

Runners on first and second, and Tsutsugoh at the plate. Tsutsugoh, who had already doubled twice off the wall in left, took a heavy swipe at the first high fastball he saw, and he  swung again at the next heater which was low and away. Both were fouled off behind him to temporarily put Lim in the driver’s seat.

But it wasn’t until Tsutsugoh had worked the count to 2-2 that Lim finally got a batter to swing at something in the dirt. This time it was a forkball, and the win was preserved. 3-2 Final.

Yamamoto (1-6; 3.96 ERA) didn’t figure in the final scoreline after throwing 90 pitches through four and two-thirds innings. He gave up two earned runs off of five hits and mixed in two strikeouts, four walks and a single wild pitch.

Instead, Hidaka got the win for his third of an inning and six pitches of work. It was his second win of the season, and his ERA budged slightly to 7.04.

Oshimoto (2.83 ERA) just barely held things together in the sixth before pitching a much more confident seventh, and Matsuoka (2.56) came through with a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth.

Lim recorded his 30th save of the 2011 season, and the one earned run pushed his ERA up to 2.25 through 59 appearances.

Tanaka, who was batting seventh for the first time in a long time, was selected as the hero of the game for his three hits and one RBI (the go-ahead run in the sixth). Aikawa had a similar day at the plate going 3-4 with an RBI of his own. Aoki and Kawabata also had multi-hit games with the former adding an RBI in the top of the fifth.

Tokyo have the day off tomorrow and will take on the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien from Tuesday to Thursday. They’ll be back at Jingu on Friday through Sunday for a three game series against the fifth place Hiroshima Carp.

Notes:

Thankfully the Swallows didn’t face pitching of the caliber that they saw on Friday. Yokohama’s Miura was his old self during that game. In this afternoon’s game, however, Tokyo faced friendlier pitching and outhit Yokohama 12-10.

Hatakeyama leads the league in RBIs (82) and walks (69).

Lim has reached the 30 save mark for the third time since joining Tokyo for the 2008 season.

Tanaka can be a good hitter when he doesn't have to bunt all the time.

About Christopher Pellegrini

Christopher is a budding sabermetrician and long-time supporter of Tokyo's more lovable team, the Swallows. He has publicly volunteered, several times, that he plans to buy the team at some point in the future. When he finally runs the joint, it is likely that he will fine any player who swings at the first pitch or sac bunts (unless it's a pitcher, of course). Follow him on Twitter: @chrispellegrini