...Hitoki Iwase collected his 227th career save last night against the Hanshin Tigers and moved into a third place tie with Masahide Kobayashi on the All-Time Saves list.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Former Fighters' manager Futoshi Nakanishi threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to tonight's game against the Orix Buffaloes. Current Fighters' manager Masataka Nashida caught his pitch while Orix manager Daijiro Ohishi stood in the batter's box and whiffed at Nakanishi's offering.
Nakanishi is familiar with both managers as he was once their manager when all three were with Kintetsu -- the 3 were together between '85-'88.
...The "Rakuten Eagles Channel" is coming to Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. The two have agreed on a deal that will allow NND to carry video highlights from home games, hero interviews, and Katsuya Nomura's interviews. The site will also be broadcasting live video coverage for games on 8/15, 8/23, 9/5 and 9/19.
...The Swallows will be selling a boxed lunch based on Norikchika Aoki's personal requests called the "Aoki's Chicken Box Lunch" over a 6 game period, starting on the 18th when the Swallows begin a home stand the Tigers and Giants. The lunch will sell for 1,200yen (about US$12).
Yokohama Bay Stars
...Shuichi Murata's season could very much be over after injuring his left biceps femoris muscle on the 11th. The team is currently looking at a 6-8 weeks time frame for his recovery. It appears as though this is more or less the same injury Murata suffered during the WBC.
...Yoshinobu Takahashi collected 2 doubles and an RBI in his first game (at Ni-gun) of the season.
In watching highlights on TV, he appeared to swing the bat with authority and didn't seem to have any problems with back.
...Impressions from the umps that worked with the replay systems today:
"Today was all about getting used to the machines," said Hitoshi Watarida (working at Mazda Stadium). "I'm a little worried about there only being one monitor."
Said Masanobu Suginaga (working at Jingu Stadium) "If it's ever used, it'll mean we make the fans wait and that could rush us to a wrong decision."