October 1st, 2017 vs. Chunichi

October 1st, 2017

Chunichi LogoChunichi Dragons 6TS Logo 150x transparent

Tokyo Swallows 4

Streak: Lost 1          Last 5: LLLWL

(Meiji Jingu Stadium)

Congratulations to your 2017 Tokyo Yakult Swallows for “achieving” the most losses in the 68-year history of the team (yes, that even includes the years it was owned by Kokutetsu* and Sankei).

W: Some dude
L: Lueke

Up until now, that dubious record had been held by the 1950 Kokutetsu Swallows, and at least, as a brand-new team, they had a decent excuse.

 Chunichi Tokyo
1Kyoda (SS)1Yamasaki (CF)
2Kamezawa (2B)2Ueda (RF)
3 Kondo (CF)3 Sakaguchi (LF)
4 Fukuda (1B)4Yamada (2B)
5Takahashi (3B)5Nakamura (C)
6Iryo (RF)6Fujii (3B)
7Matsui (SS)7Hirooka (SS)
8Ito (C)8Okumura (1B)
9Tomonaga (P)9Umeno (P)

Rookie Umeno made his second start for the Swallows, and, with the Swallows up by one after five serviceable innings pitched, it looked like he might get his first career win.

Dem three Swallows points all got gitted in the second. Nakamura was walked, then Fujii hit a single to right. Next, Hirooka hit a double to drive in the first run. Okumura then followed it up with a timely hit of his own to bring in two runners, making the score 3-0.

Umeno made it through his first two innings unscathed but gave the Dragons one run each in the third and fourth. He then pitched a scoreless fifth to get set up for the potential win.

But it was not to be. Kondo had a lousy sixth, which allowed the Dragons to score the tying run. Oh well, Kondo—maybe next time! (This is a lame Japanese pun you may safely ignore.)

The real damage, though, came in the ninth, when the gods of Jingu rolled the dice and got Bad Lueke. With two men on base, he gave up a home run to Matsui and made it 3-6.

The Swallows looked like they might maaaaybe pull off a come-from-behind win in the ninth, but nope. 4-6 final.

Game notes:

  • On his second career start, Umeno pitched five innings, threw 89 pitches and racked up 6 strikeouts. Looking forward to seeing what he does next season.
  • 1950 Swallows: 42-94-2 (138 games) / 2017 Swallows: 45-95-2 (142 + 1 remaining)
  • *As a public company, Kokutetsu (what is now Japan Railways) was not allowed to own a baseball team, so the Swallows were actually owned by a group of Kokutetsu-affiliated companies. Now you know!
  • This is my final report of the year. Let’s take a look back at Sundays with the Swallows, shall we? The team’s win-loss record on Sundays this year was… 6-17-2. The last Sunday win was on June 11 at Chiba. Wow.
  • The final game of the season is October 3 vs. the Giants at Jingu (unless it gets rained out, in which case the pain will be prolonged further).
  • All this said, it was a blast to write up this reports all reason. Thanks to the Tsubamegun crew and to everyone reading.