Unfortunately Rick van den Hurk wasn’t able to extend his record of fourteen wins without recording a loss. Last week he broke the 50-year old record by winning the game vs the Chiba Lotte Marines, in which he struck out ten batters and gave up only one run. Wladimir Balentien is hitting rather well lately, though he is not constant yet.
In today’s game vs the Nippon Ham Fighters, Rick was hit hard. The tall Dutchman lasted only five innings in which he threw ninety-one pitches. In the first inning Rick started
with retiring Daikan Yoh but he followed with hitting Kensuke Tanaka with a pitch. He served up the pitch for a two run homerun to the next batter that he faced, Shohei Otani.
Rick recovered rather well in the second inning as he retired the side but in the third he started with giving up a single towards the shorstop, hit by Takuya Nakashima, followed by another two run homerun, hit by Daikan Yoh.
But the four runs were not the end of this anguish. In the fourth another run was scored on a sac fly to left field and in the fifth another sac fly to left field and a single drove in two more runs. After the fifth inning Rick was pulled.
In those five innings, Rick gave up seven runs on six hits and two walks. He sruck out four and threw one wild pitch. Due to this outing, his ERA has gone up to a still respectable 2.95.
Let’s be honest, it was a matter of time before Rick would finish his first game, but nevertheless he has engraved his name in stone with a very respectable record of fourteen consecutive wins.
Wladimir Balentien did not get a hit in today’s game but in Sunday’s Tokyo derby vs the Yomiuri Giants, Wladimir saw the ball well.
The star slugger of the Yakult Swallows, led off the second inning with a homerun and put the Swallows on the board.
In the sixth inning, the Curacaoan outfielder also hit a single to left field and drove in Tetsuto Yamada, who got on base on a triple to center field.
But since Wladimir was the only one that drove in the runs for the Swallows, the team lost 2-3 to the Giants.
On the defensive side Wladimir did not have much to do as the Giants hit only one fly ball to left field and that one was caught by Wladmir.
In today’s game, Wladimir did not collect a hit in four at bats. Thanks to this, hit batting average sank to .305. But thanks to Sunday’s homerun, the number of dingers is not standing at twelve.