...Tony Blanco hit his first NPB walk-off home run last night against the Hiroshima Carp. It also happened to be the first walk-off home run, with the score tied at 0-0, for the Dragons since May 31, 1955 when Satoshi Sugiyama's walk-off homer beat the the Giants.
...Jeff Williams tossed 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Friday. He mixed in off-speed pitches with the catcher in the squat position. When asked how he felt afterward, he said "Good!" and walked off toward the weight room.
...Norihiro Akahoshi spent 45 minutes swinging the bat in an indoor training room at the Naruohama training facilities on Friday.
NIPPON HAM FIGHTERS
...Kazuhito Tadano was just one out away from tossing a no-hitter last night against the Chiba Lotte Marines. Had he accomplished the feat, it would have been the first no-hitter in the PL since Narciso Elvira (Kintetsu Buffaloes) did it in 2000 against the Seibu Lions. (Masa Yamamoto tossed the last Central League no-hitter on September 16, 2006.)
As it stands, Tadano is the 21st pitcher (10th in the Pacific League) in the NPB to come within 1 out of a no-hitter.
...Sho Nakata went 2-for-5 with a walk and 5 RBIs against Ni-gun Seibu on Friday. The 5 RBIs came on a solo home run in the 1st and a grand slam in the 5th.
...Masahiro Tanaka was caught leaving the apartment of a "Japanese tarento" 4 years his senior prior to his start yesterday. That doesn't really have much of anything to do with baseball, but it's become something of a big deal, so I figured I'd mention it.
...Toru Hosokawa appeared in his first rehab game on Friday against Ni-gun Nippon Ham. He was the starting catcher and batted in the 8 hole. Hosokawa had one at bat and was in the the game until the 4th. It was his first game in 2 months.
...The Hawks now have 7 walk-off wins this season.
...Hei Chun Lee was hit in the left hand by a come-backer to the mound in the 6th and was taken out of the game as a precaution (he faced just one batter).
...Ryota Igarashi has not given up a run in 25 straight appearances, good for third most in the NPB history.
...When the Giants beat the Hanshin Tigers in extra innings last night, they did it for the first time since June 21, 2008 when they beat the Softbank Hawks. Prior to the win, they were 0-2-6 in extra innings this season.
...Ouch! Johoku High School beat up on Shonai Nogyo High School (Yamagata Regionals), 36-0. Johoku collected 23 hits on their way to the rout. The game was called after 5.