Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Something you don't see every day

Hitting a baseball is hard. Hitting it off of an experienced, major league pitcher is even harder. Hitting the ball consistently off of a major league pitcher is even more difficult. The The Tokyo Yakult Swallows accomplished a feat that has never happened before, and would likely to never happen again in a major league game:

On Sunday Yakult couldn’t quite manage that, but they did manage to do something that Chiba couldn’t. They got hits in 11 consecutive at-bats for their own new NPB record (for consecutive hits.)
I think the Royals and Nationals this year have even combined for a dozen games where they've had 11 hits, and the Swallow's did it consecutively. Here's how:

1. Aoki pokes one through the middle for a single.
2. Guiel hits to centre to put men on the corners.
3. Ihara (pinch hitting for Yuichi) hits a single to left, one run scores and men are on first and second. 3-2 Tokyo.
4. Miyamoto puts down a surprise bunt but Orix can’t turn the play and he gets himself an infield hit to load the bases.
5. D’Antona singles to left scoring two runs, 5-2 Tokyo. Miyamoto later steals third to put men on the corners.
6. Aikawa then also singles to left, one run scores to put men on first and second. 6-2 Tokyo.
7. Kawashima Keizo hits to left to load the bases.
8. Takeuchi hits a chopper to first and is safe, one run scores and the bases are loaded again. 7-2 Tokyo.
8. Tanaka hits to centre, one runs scores and Kawashima is run-down between third and home for out number one. 8-2 Tokyo Men on second and third. With first base open, next man up Aoki is then walked on five pitches to load the bases.
10. Guiel smacks a huge one into the second tier in right to bring home four runs and clear the bases. His second hit of the inning. 12-2 Tokyo.
11. Ihara doubles for his second hit of the inning, and the last hit for the Swallows in a record-breaking 6th inning.
Now, there was a walk in the middle of the streak, but 11 official at bats, and 11 official hits.

I think that's former Royal Aaron Guiel playing for the Swallows. I'll have to check. Any way you look at it, it's an impressive feat.

Of course, the fact that the Nationals haven't allowed this type of streak themselves is impressive, also.

Original link from the guys at The Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

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