2021 Nippon Series: Yakult Swallows Win First Japanese Title in Twenty Years

Another championship for Tokyo. But not the Giants. No, this time the other team from the Japanese capital is the best of Japan. At a cold Hotto Motto Field in Kobe, the Yakult Swallows on game six of the Nippon Series, clinching their first championship since 2001. In another close game, both teams were kept on a leash by the opposing pitching. Orix’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitched a nine-inning, one hundred forty-one-pitch gem, in which his pitches still topped 90mph in the ninth inning. But it didn’t earn him the win.

SMBC Japan Series 2021

Like all previous games, this one was a close one as well. Only in the fifth inning, the Swallows opened the score when Jose Osuna was moved to second base on a perfect bunt that dropped next to the first baseline. A timely hit by Yasutaka Shiomi drove in Osuna for the first run of the game.

Tokyo Yakult Swallows - TheSportsDB.com

But unlike the other innings, the Orix Buffaloes managed to drive in a run in the fifth inning as well. Overall the team did not hit very well and several batters looked like they were frozen as they watched the pitches hit the strike zone. Anyhow, with the runs not coming cheap, the Buffaloes used the same tactics as the Swallows. With Kenya Wakatsuki at first base, Ryo Ohta also hit a perfect bunt down the first baseline to move over Wakatsuki, who would score on Shuhei Fukuda’s hit to left field. That was the sign for Swallow’s manager to pull starting pitcher Hirotoshi Takanashi, who had pitched a solid game so far.

わいワイ がやガヤ 町コミ 「かわらばん」 みなトコ×みなとQ » 4/1(金)・2(土)・3(日)俺のオリックス 2016

In the remaining regular innings, no runs were scored. With Steven Moya at second base, the Buffaloes send Adam Jones to the plate to pinch-hit, but the Swallows remembered Jones’ home run of the previous game, and with first base wide open, they walked him.

Only in the twelfth inning, the Swallows scored the go-ahead run. Pinch hitter Shingo Kawabata drove in the game-winning run with a single to left field.


Reliever Scott McGough shut the door and handed the Swallows their sixth overall NPB championship. McGough earned the win as he pitched 2.1 innings in which he struck out eight and hit one batter with a pitch.

Ryo Yoshida took the loss as he gave up the winning run in the twelfth.

With his hit in his sole at-bat, Shingo Kawabata was the best hitter for the Swallows.

Irish American Baseball Society

Baseball from a Dutch point of view since 2014

Maritime Pro Ball

Blog advocating bringing minor league ball to the Maritime Provinces!

D-Backs Europe

Een kijk op de MLB met een vleugje Arizona Diamondbacks

Milujeme Baseball

Nejlepší český web o baseballu

Dutch Baseball Hangout

Baseball from a Dutch point of view since 2014


Follow my trip in the USA during the 2016 summer!

Honkbal Op Zolder

Blog over bijzaken in Major League Baseball

The Ball Caps Blog

Baseball caps and beyond

The Negro Leagues Up Close

A blog about a century of African-American baseball history

Baseball History Daily

Heroes, Villains, Oddities and Minutia--The Forgotten History of the National Pastime

The Midwest League Traveler

Traveling & writing about the Midwest League, past & present, since 2011

Ben's Biz Blog

The Greatest Minor League Baseball Blog of All Time

B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful

Your guide to all things prospect, courtesy of Jonathan Mayo

Universo Béisbol

Hagamos del béisbol un deporte más universal.

%d bloggers like this: