...Akihiro Yano batted 6th and was the starting catcher in a game against Ni-gun Hiroshima on Sunday. He was taken out in the 5th after going 2-for-3 at the plate; he also made a play on a bunt without any difficulties.
...Here's an interesting picture from Sunday's walk-off win:
Sanspo caption: Teammates pile onto Sekimoto to celebrate.
On the right, Arai gets a kick in the butt from Kanemoto.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Atsunori Inaba's 10th home run of the season gave him 10 consecutive seasons of 10+ home runs and 12 overall.
"I don't consider myself a home run hitter, but I do usually strive to hit double-digits in home runs. So it's good in that sense," said Inaba of his streak.
...The Buffaloes lost their 40th game on Sunday and are on pace to lose about 90 this season. The most losses in a season for the Buffaloes? 92, set in 1963.
...Happy 74th Birthday Katsuya Nomura! For the first time since 1997, Nomura can celebrate a birthday with his team in third place or better.
In 1997, Nomura was managing the Yakult Swallows and the team was 20 games over .500 and in second place, 8 games behind the first place team. The Swallows ended up winning it all that season.
...Tough game for Norichika Aoki on Sunday. Not only did he go 0-for-4, but he also misplayed a ball hit by Michihiro Ogasawara in the first inning that went by him and became a triple. The hit not only scored Hayato Sakamoto from first, but also became the second run of the inning on a sac fly by Alex Ramirez.
...The Swallows' have now lost the last 11 series' against the Giants.
...Tetsuya Utsumi is donating one "randoseru" (backpack) for every strike out he registers this season, to children in need living in the Tokyo area. His 10 strike outs last night gives him 55 on the season.
...Taishi Ohta entered Sunday's game in the top of the 8th as a defensive replacement at third. He fielded the one opportunity he had cleanly.
...Hanamaki Higashi High School ace Yusei Kikuchi started a practice game against Miyagi power-house Sendai Ikuei High School on Sunday and held the team to 1 run over 5 innings on 5 hits and 4 strike outs. On the day before that, Kikuchi started a practice game against Hotoku Gakuen and gave up a hit and struck out 10 over 6-innings of shut-out ball.
...Yokohama High School infielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugo jacked his 64th career home run in a practice game against Tokoha Gakuen Kikugawa on Sunday in the second game of a double-header. Tsutsugo hit his 63rd career homer in the first game of the double-header.
The 64 home runs ties him with former Orix Buffaloes infielder, PL Gakuen high school graduate, Kazuhiro Kiyohara.
...5 NPB ball clubs were on hand to watch Keio High School righty Akihiro Hakumura's start in a practice game against Waseda Jitsugyo. He tossed 156 (!) pitches for the win and surrendered 4 runs on 8 hits while striking out 8 using a fastball that topped out at 144km/h on the gun. A scout for the Giants said Hakumura could go as early as the second round in this year's draft.
...PL Gakuen slugger Koki Kanno was taken off the team's active roster due to his recent struggles. In January of this year, Kanno was hospitalized with back problems and hasn't really been the same since then.