Jul 30th 2013, @ Yomiuri

July 30th, 2013

Tokyo Swallows 1

Yomiuri Giants 4

Streak: Lost 2   Last 5: LLWLL

(Tokyo Dome)

W: UBB (8-4; 3.35 ERA)
L: Roman (2-4; 5.05 ERA)
S: Nishimura (25S; 1.60 ERA)

Another day, another L. Though this time the malfunction came from the bats not the arms. Change is good!

Yamada (2B)1Chono (CF)
Ueda (CF)2Hashimoto (RF)
Milledge (LF)3Sakamoto (SS)
Balentien (RF)4Abe (1B)
Hatakeyama (1B)5Murata (3B)
Kawabata (3B)6Lopez (1B)
Aikawa (C)7Bowker (LF)
Kawashima (SS)8Nakai (2B)
Roman (P)9Ultimate Bitch Boy (P)

The Swallows got things under way with a bang in the top of the 2nd, as ultimate bitch-boy (UBB) Utsumi left a fast ball up an over the plate for Hatakeyama, which the chunkster deposited with aplomb into the left field bleachers for 1-0 Tokyo.

They had a chance to extend that lead in the top of the 3rd, with Keizo leading off the inning with a single. Pitcher Roman then laid down a poor sac bunt attempt, straight back to Utsumi, but UBB fluffed his fielding attempt, and the Swallows had two on thanks to the error. Things then went wrong however, as a Yamada fly out to not particularly deep right field led to a Keizo Kawashima tag up and run for third, but he was out easily and just like that, two outs were on the board with only a man remaining at first. Ueda then grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning and a favourable position had been squandered.

Let's blame Shiroishi

Let’s blame Shiroishi

After holding the Yomiuri bats hitless through two (with two trademark walks in the first however), Roman came unstuck in the 3rd, giving up a single, double, walk, and two-run double in the inning which made it 2-1 Yomiuri.

Roman had a 1-2-3 4th before reaching his endgame in the 5th. An infield single and two walks loaded the bases with two outs, and Orlando issued another walk to make it 3-1. His 101 pitch evening was thus over and in came Emura to try and spare Roman’s ERA. And Emura did just that by striking out some short old pinch-hitter to get out of the inning with Yomiuri still within touching distance.

Tokyo kept creating chances though. In the 6th an Ueda lead off double got things off to a promising start, but Milledge grounded out to third and Balentien struck out swinging to put two outs up. Hatake then did well to draw a walk to put two on, which brought up Kawabata, fresh from his grand slam exploits this past weekend. Another four balls followed, and the bases were loaded for Aikawa. Unfortunately, Utsumi was let off the hook once more, as Aikawa grounded out to short to end the inning.

And with that golden chance wasted, all that was left was see how much further the bullpen allowed Yomiuri to extend their lead.

In the bottom of the 6th, Kiya gave up a run off two hits for 4-1.

The final chance to get back into it was wasted in the 7th, with two-out singles from Yamada and Ihara off reliever Yamaguchi put men on the corners for Milledge, but another ground out to short stranded more men.

Yamamoto and Matsuoka pitched scoreless 7th and 8th innings respectively, the solitary hit of the two innings given up by the latter.

However the Yomiuri bullpen shut down the Swallows bats down the stretch we had ourselves a 4-1 Yomiuri Final.

Roman departs in the 5th

Roman departs in the 5th

Game Notage

  • Roman’s final line: 4.2 IP / 101 P / 4 H / 4 K / 6 BB / 3 ER. His best outing for a couple of months (not that there have been many), but again, control issues let him down. Them walks man. Them walks……
  • Kiya aside, the bullpen was very effective today. It was the wastefulness of the bats that ultimately let the side down.
  • Fatake’s 1st inning homer was his 10th of the season. He has now reached double digit home runs in each of the last four seasons. 23 was his highest total back in 2011.
  • With Yokohama winning again tonight, the Swallows fell further behind in the race for that final playoff spot.
  • Tomorrow’s game will also start at the rather annoying time of 6:30pm, with Yagi taking the mound for Tokyo.
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

  • Kozo

    Forget the race for the final playoff spot. At this point I just want to win the race out of last place.

    • Indeed. Alas, I think that is what it’s coming down to from here on out:

      1) The race not to be in last.
      2) The race to be the winningest pitcher.
      3) The race to be the HR king.

      That’s all that’s left to play for.