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NPB: Tuffy hit his 445th career HR; Kroon saves his 127th game; and more

by on Apr.11, 2009 @ 12:42 pm, under NPB

HANSHIN TIGERS

...Yuya Ando is listed as day-to-day after apparently suffering a light sprain in his left ankle. His next start on the 13th will depend on how he's doing.

HIROSHIMA CARP

...It was Kenta Maeda's birthday on Saturday. What better way to celebrate that than with a complete game shut-out against the Chunichi Dragons that also turned out to be the first ever victory for the Carp at Mazda Stadium.

ORIX BUFFALOES

...Tuffy Rhodes hit his 445th home run (a 2-run shot) off Hiroyuki Kobayashi in the bottom of the 3rd against the Softbank Hawks. Rhodes now has sole possession of 12th place on the NPB All-Time HR List.

RAKUTEN EAGLES

...Katsuya Nomura suffered his 1,500 loss as a manager when the Eagles dropped their game against the Lions on Saturday.

YOKOHAMA BAY STARS

...Rookie Keijiro Matsumoto finally collected his first official hit against the Swallows on Saturday afternoon. He entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and promptly hit a single off Kenichi Matsuoka. Matsumoto had gone 18 straight plate appearances without a hit.

YOMIURI GIANTS

...Marc Kroon recorded his 127th career save against the Hanshin Tigers and is now in sole possession of 13th place on the NPB All-Time Saves List.

OTHERS

...Yuki Saito picked up his 19th career college victory on Saturday against Tokyo University (in 33 total appearances; 26 starts).

His final line:
7 IP, 112 NP, 25 BF, 3 H, 10 K, 3 BB, 0 R

Here are his comments after the game:

On your start
Despite this being my fourth opening day start, I was still very nervous. Our catcher is a first year so it wasn't so much him leading me, but more about working together on what to throw.

On missing Takeshi Yamada (drafted by Yokohama)
There were parts of me that really relied on Yamada-san, but from now on, I'd like to try and work more on thinking things through myself. Working with a first year catcher might allow me that opportunity.

What you'll be working on
I lost my grip on a few pitches and couldn't always hit my spots. I'll be working on these issues for my next start.

You shook off the catcher a number of times
There was a pitch I wanted to throw. He did a good job leading me, but being on the same page is important to. We need to work on that.

Your change-up
I threw it. I think about 10 times. I threw it in the first inning for the third out. I think it's a pitch I'll be able to use. If it's working, it's a pitch I'd like to throw.

Are you tired?
Having to think more about what I want to throw did tire me out a little. But being able to throw the pitches I want to throw also kept me going.

You're close to winning your 20th
It's a nice round number. I'd like to shoot for it with my next start.

What do your grade your catcher's performance?
80%. I think he'll only continue to improve. It's his first year he got the start on opening day. Considering that, he did a good job. But he's still needs more polish.