CHIBA LOTTE MARINES
...The walking dead: every player in the Lotte starting line-up struck out at least once in last night's game against the Orix Buffaloes. Perhaps understanding, especially if you consider the fact that they were also coming off a marathon 5h 42m game from the previous night.
Incidentally, it was the second time every player in the line-up has struck out this season for the Marines. The Marines also happen to have the distinction of being the only team in the Pacific League since 2005 to have their entire line-up strike out.
...Tyrone who? Tony Blanco blasted a home run in last night's game against the Yomiuri Giants and now has 23 with 69 games in the books. That puts Blanco on pace to hit 48 homers, 1 more than Tyrone Woods hit when he lead the league with 47 in 2006.
...Norihiro Akahoshi wasn't in the starting line-up against the Yakult Swallows last night due to recurring neck pains. He'll likely be back in the line-up today.
...We love playing at home: 15 of their remaining 20 games in July are schedule at the Koshien, where the Tigers are 16-11. That may not be a great home record, but it's a heck of a lot better than their 12-25 mark on the road. The Tigers better get things together this month because next month begins their "Road Trip of Death," where only 5 of their 26 games will be at home.
...The Foreign "Samurai" Warrior? I've been re-reading "You've Gotta Have Wa" and with that in the back of my mind, I was reading a Sanspo article on Craig Brazell and was reminded of how he started his career with the Tigers by saying that he wouldn't be returning for the birth of his first child. Even though Japan has changed since YGHW was written, people still do find those that have a tough work ethic to be "appealing" in a "Samurai Warrior Spirit" kind of way. And apparently there are still some fans that are questioning whether or not Brazell really does intend to stick around in Japan while his wife gives birth in the States. It'll be interesting to see how things develop with this story.
...Kazuhito Futagami (Hosei Univ), Masanori Fujiwara (Ritsumeikan Univ), Nobuaki Nakabayashi (Keio Univ), Yusei Kikuchi (Hanamaki Higashi HS), and Takeru Imamura (Seiho HS) top the Tigers' list of players they're interested in for the upcoming draft.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...As par of their "We Love Hokkaido Series 2009," the Ham Fighters unveiled special limited edition uniforms that they'll be sporting during today's game against the Softbank Hawks. The concept behind the uniforms? Early summer in Hokkaido.
...Naoyuki Ohmura collected his 1,824th hit last night against the Chiba Lotte Marines, tying him for 49th place with Buffaloes manager Daijiro Ohishi on the All-Time hit list.
...I don't care about no stinking milestone or streak: when Takeya Nakamura hit his 100th home run, the company that makes his bat asked him to save his bat, but he declined.
"Milestones really don't mean anything, and besides, 100 is just on number long the way," said Nakamura of his 100th home run. And when the Lions finally won a game in which he homered (they had lost 6 in a row prior to last night's game), he said, "Those are the things that can't be helped. ... It's not like my home run won the game. I'm happy the guys behind me were able to keep the inning going."
...The secret to my success: Hideaki Wakui was quoted as saying, "I didn't really have a very good game, but I always pitch as if I'm up against Yu Darvish."
...Yoshitomo Tani was taken out of last night's game against the Chunichi Dragons after feeling a twinge in his right thigh while running the bases in the first inning.