Monday, April 02, 2007

Tokyo Gets Whupped

Tokyo had their helmets handed to them over the weekend. In a three game series versus defending central league champion Chunichi Dragons, the Swallows never really posed much of a threat after the first game. Tokyo has now started the season 0-3 and sit at the bottom of the central league. It's the first time this has happened since I moved to Japan in 2002.

After being swept down in Nagoya, Tokyo begins its first home series of the season against last year's number two team, the Hanshin Tigers.

As usual, relief pitching is a problem for Tokyo. Several guys are injured or ailing, so we're going to see a variety of people on the mound over the next couple of weeks. Look for names like Tateyama, Sato, Hanada, Takai, Takatsu, and Kida (as well as a number of second year guys) to appear on the scoreboard. Whatever combination of pitchers comes on in relief, you can expect at least three runs to be sacrificed. This will continue to take place until player-manager Atsuya Furuta figures out who is going to stay, and who heads to Ikebukuro to play on the farm team.

In other news, shame on Tokyo's front office for not allowing Furuta to go after Nakamura. The guy obviously has a lot to prove this season, and now Chunichi have him at third base for next to no money. Barring injury, Nakamura will probably have a 100-plus RBI season again this year.

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