5/17/12 – Fukuoka (Home)

May 17th, 2012

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 9

Tokyo Yakult Swallows 1

Streak: Lost 1   Last 5: WDLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

W: Otonari (4-2); L: Akagawa (3-2)

Payback’s a bitch! After last night’s unreal drubbing of the Hawks, the boys from Fukuoka reciprocated in game 2.

 Hawks Swallows
1Akashi (2B)1Tanaka (2B)
2Imamiya (SS)2Morioka (SS)
3Uchikawa (CF)3Milledge (LF)
4Pena (LF)4Balentien (RF)
5Matsuda (3B)5Hatakeyama (1B)
6Kokubo (1B)6Miyamoto (3B)
7Tamura (RF)7Yuhei (CF)
8Yamazaki (C)8Nakamura (C)
9Otonari (P)9Akagawa (P)

Nakamura gets the start in place of Aikawa tonight. I’m guessing that Nakamura will be Akagawa’s personal catcher to give the young backstop some regular starts.

As for the more salient details of the game, I’ll present them as quick bullet points to spare you all the pain.

  • Top of the 3rd: Matsuda hits a 2 out 3 run homer off Akagawa. 3-0 Hawks
  • Top of the 6th: Tamura hits a 1 out 2 run homer off Akagawa. 5-0 Hawks
  • Top of the 7th: Pena hits a 2 out 2 run homer off Hirai. 7-0 Hawks
  • Top of the 9th: Kidokoro hits an 1 out RBI single off Abe. 8-0 Hawks
  • Top of the 9th: Yamazaki hits an 1 out RBI single off Abe. 9-0 Hawks
  • Bottom of the 9th: Milledge hits a no out solo homer just right of the left field foul pole. 9-1 Hawks

Otonari was walking Swallows like crazy tonight, racking up 7 BBs in 6 innings of work. But unlike many pitchers that try to force strikes by throwing meatballs when they have trouble throwing strikes, it seemed as if Otonari would just give up on at bats where he fell behind and walk the batter to get to the next guy. Despite getting into jams in the first, second, and the fifth, Otonari still walked guys to load the bases and managed to get the out when he needed it most. The Swallows ultimately left a season-high 15 men on base.

Akagawa did not have the greatest night always falling behind in the count. Of the 27 batters Akagawa faced he only managed to throw a first pitch strike 10 times, and very rarely was he pitching ahead in the count. The bullpen wasn’t much better. Hirai, Kyuko, and Abe all allowed multiple baserunners, although Kyuko managed to keep them from scoring.

Let’s just call the last 2 games outliers, and not focus too much them. The Swallows have a day off tomorrow, before they play Orix (who dropped both their games against the Giants) for a 2 game set over the weekend.

Milledge pops out to the infield with the bases loaded in the second.

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.

  • Dr. No

    I was planning to join the fan club at the game today. However I just checked the Swallows website and they say every level is sold out except for kids. Anyone know if possibly this is online and they still have some available at the park.

    I’m a little shocked. 11,000 memberships gone before I could even get to a home game this year.

    • Yes, the fan club is now closed. We have independent verification of this fact from a friend who tried to sign up at the stadium on Wednesday.

      • Dr. No

         Who knew the birds had 11,000 fans…

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