04/24/12 – Chunichi (Home)

April 24th, 2012

Chunichi Dragons 1

Tokyo Swallows 4

Streak: Won 4  Last 5: LWWWW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

W: Tateyama (2-0, 2.00ERA) L: Yamai (0-3, 3.18) S: Barnette (1-0, 8S, 0.00)

After the confidence boosting and oh so pleasurable home sweep this last weekend against Yomiuri, Tokyo kept the momentum rolling with a relatively straightforward victory against the reigning CL chuamps.

 Chunichi Tokyo
1Oshima (CF)1Tanaka (2B)
2Araki (2B)2Ueda (CF)
3Morino (3B)3Milledge (LF)
4Yamasaki (1B)4Balentien (RF)
5Wada (LF)5Miyamoto (3B)
6Ibata (SS)6Morioka (SS)
7Hirata (RF)7Hatakeyama (1B)
8Tanishige (C)8Nakamura (C)
9Yamai (P)9Tateyama (P)

After Tateyama made light work of the first three batters of the evening, Tokyo’s bats got things up and running against the distinctly average Yamai who was on the mound for the Dragons.

Back-to-back singles for Tanaka and Ueda put men on first and second for Milledge, with a wild pitch during Lastings’ at-bat allowing both runners to reach scoring positions. That wild pitch turned out to be oh so fortunate as it meant just the one out instead of the two, as Milledge hit a ground-out to short which scored Tanaka for 1-0 Tokyo, with Ueda now at third. Balentien hit a shallow fly for out number two before Miyamoto came to the plate. He hit a grounder to first, but the 63 year old veteran Yamasaki couldn’t come up with it as Miyamoto reached first on the error, and Ueda made it home for 2-0 Tokyo.

Morioka, in tonight’s line-up to give Kawabata a rest (he has some lower back issues I believe) hit a dribbler up the middle that somehow evaded the Chunichi middle infield and Tokyo had men on the corners to threaten once more, but Hatake flew out to to right to end the inning with the lead at two.

But that lead would be halved in the top of the 2nd, as it became apparent that Tateyama is still not 100% early in this new season. Two singles and a two-out run scoring wild pitch got Chunichi back in the game at 2-1.

And the game would be see the last of it’s scoring in the bottom of the 3rd, as a Milledge double to the fence in right, and a Balentien homer over the same fence made it a much more comfortable 4-1 Tokyo. It was Balentien’s CL-leading 5th dinger of the year.

Tateyama would battle his way to the end of the 6th without allowing any further runs, aided by some very solid defence behind him, and so it was on to the bullpen. Masubuchi was up first in the 7th, followed by Oshimoto in the 8th, both allowing a solitary hit apiece which meant it was Tony-time come the top of the 9th. And as is becoming customary, he made light work of it, sitting down the 71 year old Yamasaki, 53 year old Wada and the positively spritely 42 year old Ibata in order to wrap things up nice and dandily for a 4-1 Tokyo Final.


  • A “not at his best” Tateyama was still good enough to earn his second straight win after his 6I / 102P / 4H / 1K / 2BB / 1ER evening.
  • The bullpen duo of Oshimoto and Barnette are still yet to give up an earned run this year, while Masabuchi’s ERA now sits at 3.86.
  • Miyamoto went 1 for 3 (plus a dead ball for good measure), the hit coming via a 5th inning single, which means he is now just the 8 hits away from tears all round.
  • After the two-run 3rd, Tokyo got a hit in each of the 4th and 5th innings before being shut down by the Dragons’ bullpen over the final three.
  • Hatakeyama was the only non-pitching member of the starting line-up without a hit for the evening. He’s now batting .174.
  • 12941 folks were at a soggy Jingu to witness the Swallows’ extend their streak to four, and end Chunichi’s at five.
  • In tonight’s only other game in the CL, Hanshin lost at Koshien in a pitcher’s duel which saw Maeda’s Carp come out on top against Messenger to the tune of 1-0. This means Tokyo and Chunichi are now tied for first place with Hanshin 1.5 games behind in third.
  • Tomorrow’s game will see Ishikawa start for the birds with the mythical creatures countering with Nakata. Thursday’s starter for Tokyo will likely be Muranaka.

About David Watkins

David is a baseball bothering Brummie who spends a fair portion of his life fretting over the Tokyo Swallows and the WORLD'S GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM, Aston Villa. He completes the quartet of abusive sporting relationships by being a die hard New York Knicks and Mets fan. You can find him on twitter: @yakulto