5.04.2011

Yakult Swallows-4 Chunichi Dragons-3



Another game, another win. Recaps are fun when we're winning! Lim Chang-Yong pitched up his 100th save in Japan with a shaky performance in the ninth but that's what insurance runs are for. Congratulations to everyone's favorite Korean pitcher.



Let's get into the action. Bottom 2, Balentien kept his hot streak going and doubled off the left center field wall. The struggling Ryoji Aikawa came through with a [insert Michael Jackson album title here] double of his own to make it 1-0 Swallows.

One encouraging sign is that other teams have to deal with inadequacy in the outfield fielding department. In the third inning, Norichika Aoki got a hold of one and sent it to right but Joel Guzman pulled a Hatakeyama and misplayed it so badly that it couldn't even be charged as an error. Aoki was stranded at third, so unlike Hatakeyama's blunder from a series ago, it didn't cost Guzman's team. In the end, Hatakeyama is playing some pretty damn good baseball so I promise to never bring up that play again.

 The Dragons tied the game up in the fourth after a throwing error by Aikawa allowed Ibata to make it from first to third. Tony Blanco picked up a 2 out RBI single, one of his two hits in the game. 1-1.


Josh Whitesell gave the Swallows the lead for good with a two-run bomb in the fifth. It was a pretty looking swing and it cleared the left center field fence. 3-1 Swallows.

Yoshinori Sato ran into a little bit of trouble in the sixth with men on first and second, but the slumping Kazuhiro Wada grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Whitesell put the game out of reach in the seventh, when he knocked another ball over the fence. This one was a solo shot, but more impressive than the first. It was a forkball that he had to stoop for, but he got the bat head right on it and guided it over the wall. 4-3 Swallows.

 The game could have took a turn for the worse for the Swallows in the eighth with bases loaded no out, however, Yoshinori showed poise, getting a double play ball and a fly out to get out of the inning only giving up one run. 4-2 Swallows.

Lim came on in the ninth and got hit hard but managed to get his 100th save while only allowing a Guzman sacrifice fly. 4-3 Swallows.

Yoshinori is really fun to watch. He had 8 strikeouts today and his ability to go deep into games is very useful in resting the bullpen. He's young so it's important not to overuse him, but he's certainly something special. 8 innings and 110 pitches today for the young man.

Hero: Whitesell provided the go ahead run and also the deciding insurance run so he gets the award.

Goat: Wada and Morino are playing woefully bad so far and they constantly let their team down in key situations (they'll probably get off tomorrow now that I put that into words).

*Sorry for the sloppy recap, had limited time; tomorrow will be better. Also hope to put up highlights around noon tomorrow.

© 2011, copyright Julian Jowise

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