Wednesday, April 1, 2009

3/29 Seibu Vs Yakult: Seibu's Revenge

Hello again everyone. After a bad loss on Saturday the 28th, the Lions rebounded with a victory on Sunday March 29th The Seibu lineup was at “full strength” so to speak with Yasuyuki Kataoka and Hiroyuki Nakajima back in the lineup batting in their usual spots in the lineup (1st and 3rd respectively). The starting pitchers for the day were Fumiya Nishiguchi for the Lions and Lee, Hye Cheon for the Swallows. The crowd turnout was decent as there was about 12,000 or so people there for the game. The Swallows had a maybe 300 fans there which was a great and hopefully, the fans will come out and support the team more this year than in previous years.

The Lions got on the board first when Kataoka tripled to start off the game for Seibu in the bottom of the first and then Takumi Kuriyama hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 1-0 Seibu. This took us to the top of the third where Yakult charged back when Shinichi Takeuchi hit a home run with two on into the right field stands to make it 3-1 Yakult.

But, not to be outdone this time around, the Lions flexed their muscles and showed what their full lineup was capable of and made a bold statement to anyone watching.

Shogo Akada led off the bottom of the third with a walk. Yoshiyuki Kataoka then collected his second hit of the day with a double to left and after that, Takumi Kuriyama singled to right to drive in Akada to make it 3-2 Swallows. Seibu then blew the game open as the pride and joy of Seibu, Hiroyuki Nakajima, blasted a 3 run home run into a sea of Swallows fans (right field) to make it 5-3 Seibu. But the Lions were far from finished. After a flyout by Okawari Nakamura, G.G. Sato and Akira Eto singled to right and left respectively to put runners on first and second which brought up Hiram Bocachica, who promptly doubled to deep left to make it 6-3 Seibu. Seibu catcher Toru Hosokawa then singled to left to make it 7-3 Seibu. WOW! I mean seriously, even though I was in the right field stands, I gave the Lions a standing ovation after the inning was over. 11 batters, 6 runs, and 7 hits; those were the inning totals for Seibu. You can clearly see now that losing Nakajima and Kataoka to the WBC clearly hurt the Lions this spring. But, with them back in the lineup, they sky is the limit for this Seibu team and I look forward to a great year from them. Kataoka was 3-4 on the day and it just goes to show you that when you have a good leadoff hitter, things fall into place.

Yakult still managed to score with a sacrifice fly by Jamie D’Antona in the top of the 5th to make it 7-4 Seibu. But, Seibu broke the game open in the bottom of the 5th as Shogo Akada hit a home run with Hiram Bocachica on third to make it 9-4 Seibu, Yakult scored 2 more runs in the top of the eight on a Keizo Kawashima double but they could do no more as Seibu defeated the Swallows 9-6.

Nishiguchi got the win in a rather lackluster effort in my opinion. He went 5 innings while giving up 4 runs and 5 hits and striking out 1. He also walked 4 batters which was not good either in my opinion. Yakult starter Lee took the loss went 3 innings while giving up 8 hits and 7 runs and no strikeouts. He also walked 2 batters. Alex Grahman also picked up his second save of the preseason with a scoreless ninth inning.

All in all, it was a great warm-up for Seibu and I’m looking forward to many great games at the Seibu Dome this year. Seibu really impressed me in this game as it looked like they haven’t lost a step (at least when they are at “full strength” so to speak). Yakult showed that they can hit and there pitching was decent aside from Lee so I think I’m going to pay a little bit more attention to them this season and hopefully, they can move up in the Central League standings this year.

Newly acquired Swallows pitcher Yasuhiro Ichiba. He looked good in the game by throwing a scoreless inning.

Aaron Guiel. Come to think of it, my friend Deanna from Marinerds was right, he does look like someone. Can you guess who it is?

Swallows starter Lee, Hye Cheon practicing his bunting before the game.

Seibu Pitcher Takayuki Kishi and Yakult pitching coach Daisuke Araki. Looks like Kishi is asking him how to throw a forkball.

Morning workouts at the Seibu Dome for Yakult.

The final score for the day. Lots of hits on both sides.


  1. hey, neat photo of Kishi with Araki!

  2. Thanks Simon. Yeah, I was actually taking pictures of Lee bunting and then I looked up and saw Kishi talking to Araki. It totally caught me by surprise and I thought it would make a great blog photo. lol