Aug 30th 2013, vs Yokohama

August 30th, 2013

Yokohama BayStars 2

Tokyo Swallows 8

Streak: Won 1       Last 5: WLLLW

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

W: Kiya (2-1; 4.63 ERA)
L: Mishima (5-8; 4.20 ERA)

A decent shift from starter Kiya along with a functioning bullpen + a lively evening for the bats + Balentien’s 52nd dingdingdonger = comfortable win against the BayStars. At this stage of this season, I am only really excited by the latter of those three things. COCO FOR PRIME MINISTER!

083013 Coco

Ishikawa (2B)1Hiyane (RF)
Kajitani (SS)2Ueda (CF)
Morgan (CF)3Kawabata (3B)
Blanco (1B)4Balentien (LF)
Nakamura (3B)5Yuichi (1B)
Kinjoh (LF)6Aikawa (C)
Aranami (RF)7Yachi (SS)
Tsuruoka (C)8Yamada (2B)
Mishima (P)9Kiya (P)

A single and a couple of walks for Kiya in the top of the 1st allowed DeDeDeDeNAAAA to take the lead off a Blanco groundout and the score was 1-0 Yokohama.

Kawabata celebrates in the 1st

Kawabata celebrates in the 1st

But the Swallows came roaring back as they punished Yokohama’s starter Mishima in the bottom of the inning. A walk and a single set the table for Kawabata who hit a three-run shot to left for 3-1 Tokyo. Mishima then starter his trend for the evening of “stay the fuck away from Coco” as he walked Balentien on four pitches to a chorus of boos from the Tokyo faithful. A single for Yuichi, a strikeout for Aikawa, and Yachi capitalising on a fumble from Blanco at first loaded the bases for Yamada, and he hit a sac fly to extend the lead to 4-1.

The BayStars pulled one back off two his in the 2nd to make it 4-2, but consecutive singles from Yamada, Kiya, and Hiyane restored the three run margin in the 3rd for 5-2.

After being walked once more by the oh so brave Mishima in the 2nd, Coco next came to the plate in the 4th, but this time facing reliever Yoshikawa. Yoshikawa attempted to continue the prior policy of Mishima, but he left his second attempt at going low and inside a little higher than intended, and before you could say “PUNISH HIM!!” Balentien had sent the ball into the Yokohama fans in left for 6-2. NUMBER 52.

A two run home run in the 6th for Yuichi would bring the scoring to a close for the Swallows, while Kyuko, Yamamoto, and Shichijo combined to work a hitless 2 and 1/3 innings in relief of Kiya and we had ourselves a 8-2 Tokyo Final.



Game Notage

  • Kiya’s final line: 6.2 IP / 106 P / 6 H / 4 K / 2 BB / 2 ER. He earned his first win as a starter, and is now 1-1 in his three starts since being drafted in to the rotation as emergency help. He has frankly done considerably better than I’d expected. Good work Ryohei!
  • Tokyo out hit their opposition 14-6 with Hiyane, Kawabata, Yuichi, Aikawa, and erm, Kiya all having two hit evenings.
  • Coco’s 52nd was also his 18th for the month, extending his record on that front.
  • 16,745 people were there to witness Tokyo narrow Yokohama’s season series lead to 10-7.
  • Tomorrow will see Ogawa on the mound in his quest for 13 wins, while Coco will continue on his quest for history.
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

  • Matt Schley

    Hey guys,
    Love love love the podcast and the site.

    Quick question: just how “secure” is Balentien’s contract? I know we have him until 2016, but does he have any wiggle room, or do you think he’d abandon ship if he did? Seeing him playing for the Giants would r the most heartbreaking thing ever.


    • Kozo

      As long as the Swallows keep him, Balentien doesn’t hold an option to leave the team until his contract is up. Also, in his last one year deal Coco had language that prevented him from signing domestically after his contract was up. Presumably similar language exists in his current contract as well. The article that announced the clause strongly implies that this would become standard in Swallows’ import contracts.

    • I totally understand this sentiment. I have a commemorative “signed” Roberto Petagine ball celebrating the 2001 Japan Series win, but I can’t look at it with 100% fondness given he went on to play for Yomiuri.

      But as Kozo said, the Swallows seem to have wised-up contract wise post Petagine/Ramirez/Greisinger.

  • Baseballoogie

    Do you think they’ll keep pitching to him, or will it be Tuffy all over again?

    • Kozo

      With 29 games left to go, there will be situations where teams will have to pitch to Coco. That being said Coco will see a lot of junk and if he loses his cool and starts swinging at junk teams will keep throwing him junk. If he shows the kind of patience that he’s shown throughout the year, I’m sure Balentien will see enough hittable pitches to break the record.

      • Couldn’t have put it better myself.

        One distinction I’d also make is the difference in how he’s pitched to before reaching 55, and after, as he will see even less decent pitches, if any, when he’s on the verge of actually breaking the record.

        But at the moment, time is on his side, as he’s not quite so far down the road as Tuffy or Cabrera were at this point. Plus the Swallows don’t play any Oh managed teams which is something the prior two challengers had to endure (but on that note, I expect nothing but walks from Yomiuri as he gets even nearer to the record).