...Kai-Wen Cheng gets the start for the Tigers today, his first official start since joining the team this year. He made three appearances in Ni-gun and went 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 9 IP.
...Tomoyuki Kubota has orders not to face any batters until later next month.
Said Shoji Tohyama (Ikusei coach), "He's been tossing the ball around for three weeks, but since he couldn't throw for a while prior to that, he really hasn't had a chance to build up his muscles. This is how it's going to be at least until the end of May."
...Kenta Kurihara was not in the starting line-up for the second straight day due to back pains. There are plans for him to get his back checked out on the 27th. He will be getting looked over by the same doctor that operated on his back in 2006 (herniated disk).
Gah! 19 runs?!
...There was an incident at Mazda Stadium during yesterday's game that caused a slight delay in the game. In the second inning, operators of the scoreboard accidentally entered the wrong numbers into the system and the main scoreboard showed that the Tigers scored 19 runs in the top of the top of the second. In hindsight, it would appear as though that little incident foreshadowed a blow-out game that the Tigers would ultimately win, 12-1.
...Hisashi Iwakuma's comments after his start:
I think I was able to pitch my game. I really wanted to go another inning, but I was feeling a little tired. I also didn't do that well there at the end. ... Please write that it was Iwakuma's fault. I'm sure that's what's going to be said anyway.
...Katsuya Nomura's comments after the game:
On Iwakuma going 7 innings...
If that's what the ace of our staff is going to be like, we're going to be in trouble. We don't really have anyone to pitch in relief, the quality just really drops. There's so much of a gap.
On wanting Iwakuma to pitch one more inning...
Before the game, the Sato (the pitching coach) told him to go for 7 innings. That was probably the problem. I bet he thought that's all he need to go.
On wanting Iwakuma to finish out his starts...
I think that's impossible. He doesn't like staying out on the mound. He doesn't have any fighting spirit, or emotional strength to last out there. He's always running away. Pitchers will ask to stay in games and many end up losing, but that's the way pitchers are. Getting yanks from games usually messes with their pride, especially pitchers that are considered aces.
On the bullpen...
I'm trying to piece something together, but there just isn't anyone out there I can really use. That last pitch by Asai was a fastball, right? He could have opted to walk the batter, but he threw one down the middle. The level of play is so bad, it's bad for my health. If there isn't a deep desire to win, then good things won't come.
...Munenori Kawasaki hurt his left leg in last night's game against the Eagles when he ran out a grounder hit to third in the 9th and was taken out of the game in the bottom of the 10th. The injury doesn't appear to be serious.
...Yoshinori Sato is set to take the mound for the Swallows today. Maybe he can stop the slide: he's 3-0 in 4 starts at Jingu Stadium with a 1.33 ERA.
...Marc Kroon complained of a flare up in his right middle finger yesterday and was taken off the active roster. It was the first time that has happened since September of 2006.
...Shinnosuke Abe felt some discomfort in his right shoulder during batting practice and was left out of the starting line-up as a pre-caution measure. His status for today's game is not yet known.