Chiba Lotte Marines
...Tsuyoshi Nishioka established a new team record when he belted his 12th career lead-off homer in Tuesday night's game against the Nippon Ham Fighters.
...A new superstition: Yuta Ohmine hummed a tune while taking the mound during his last home start and won his first home game of the year. He did it again on Tuesday night and won his second straight game at home. I guess it helps him clear the mechanism.
...43-year-old pitcher Satoru Komiyama and 40-year-old infielder Koichi Hori appear interested in returning for one more season. And it would seem as though the team is interested in keeping them both because they might be able to provide the younger players on the staff with some advice.
...Kodai Sakurai complained of discomfort in his right leg (the thigh area) during Tuesday night's game and was replaced by a pinch hitter in the 4th inning. If Sakurai misses any time, it could be a big blow to the Tigers' offense. He is schedule to have the leg checked out at a hospital on Wednesday.
...Tsubame Killer? Yuya Ando has a 7-game winning streak against the Yakult Swallows. The last Tiger to do that was Shigeru Kobayashi between 1979 and 1980 with an 8-game winning streak.
...Makoto Imaoka hasn't decided if he'll keep playing or retire. The club president, Shoji Watanabe, said there have been no discussions of a retirement, neither by the club nor by Imaoka.
Earlier in the day there were some rumors floating around that Imaoka might be retiring at the end of the season, but apparently those were all untrue.
...Shinjiro Hiyama collected his 74th career pinch hit RBI in Tuesday night's game against the Yakult Swallows. That moves him into sole possession of 4th place on the Tigers' All-Time pinch hit RBI list.
...No Colonel Sanders? He's apparently so busy making publicity calls around the country that he might not be able to make it to the Koshien in time for the end of the season.
...Miyazaki Prefecture is hoping the Hanshin Tigers make the Climax Series cut. Why? Because apparently when they make it, more fans end up going to Miyazaki to watch the Pheonix League. Or at least that's what happened 2 years ago (the Tigers were ousted in the first round).
...The Tigers are hoping to go 20-11 over their next 31 games. I guess they think if they can do that, they'll be able to overtake the Swallows. Incidentally, they have 8 more games left to play against the Swallows and trail them by just 4 games.
...Seems like hotel reservations at the Novotel Hotel are finally start to pick-up again with the Tigers showing signs of life.
Nippon Ham Fighters
...Pacific League chief ump Yoshio Maekawa visited the Nippon Ham Fighters at Chiba Marine Stadium Tuesday night to talk to Masataka Nashida about an offensive interference call made against Tomohiro Nioka in a game against the Softbank Hawks on the 30th. It was basically a meeting to clarify the situation.
Incidentally, according to an early report by Sponichi, the Ham Fighters are not necessarily interested in a re-match, but rather want confirmation as to whether or not a mistake was made in the ruling by the ump.
...Keiji Ohbiki was hit by a pitch in Tuesday night's game against the Softbank Hawks. It was learned after the game the Ohbiki suffered a fractured ulna in his left hand. No further information is known at this time.
...Yoshihisa Hirano's start was skipped and the coaches gave him a somewhat strange order: Eat!
Hirano started the season with reflux esophagitis and has been bothered by it since. He has had a tough time keeping his weight up and the order was apparently just a reminder for him to keep himself ready for his next start.
...With all the injuries they've suffered this season, the Buffaloes are considering a move to replace all the artificial turf at Kyocera Dome. The Buffaloes last replaced the entire field back in 2003 and replaced just the infield back in 2007. Based on rough estimates on replacement periods of 3-4 years for the infield and 6-7 years for the outfield, this off-season would actually be right about the time for a full replacement.
...Forget Kikuchi and Futagami, the Buffaloes want 24-year-old Toyota hurler Masato Nakazawa.
...Hissahi Iwakuma may not be known for striking batters out, but on Tuesday night, he was dealing. He became the 4th pitcher in the Pacific League to strike out every batter in the line-up at least once and even had a streak of 7 consecutive strike outs (between the 3rd and 5th innings).
...After juggling the players in the top of the line-up against the Orix Buffaloes (Hiroyuki Nakajima 1st, Takumi Kuriyama 5th, and Yasuyuki Kataoka 8th) , Hisanobu Watanabe went back to hitting Kataoka 1st, Kuriyama 2nd, and Nakajima 3rd.
...The Lions suffered their 11th walk-off loss of the season Tuesday night, the most since 1953.
...Despite going the distance in Tuesday night's game, Hideaki Wakui could still pitch an inning or two in relief during the third game of the series, if needed. Or at least that's what they were saying prior to his start.
...The Hawks announced on Tuesday that Kameron Loe would be returning to the States on the 2nd to have his lower back checked out. Loe has struggled this season (0-4 in five starts with a 6.33 ERA) and has been off the active roster since May.
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka was in the starting line-up on Tuesday night for the first time in 9 games (because of a cranky right knee). He was the DH, batted 5th, and went 1-for-4.
...The Swallows went out for yakiniku on Monday night to try and get the team back on the same page. With their loss on Tuesday night, they are now on a 5-game slide.
...Ricky Barrett has struggled this season. He also hurt his left elbow and hasn't been allowed the throw. And from the sounds of it, he won't be able to throw at least until the end of August. As such, Barrett will likely leave the team at the end of the season.
...Tatsuyoshi Masubuchi will get his first start of the year on Thursday. Masubuchi has been sidelined since being hit in the chin by a batted ball during practice on April 28th. (His last start actually came against the Yomiuri Giants on July 26th, 2008.)
Yokohama Bay Stars
...For the 8th consecutive season, the Bay Stars will finish with a record under .500. After losing Tuesday night, they are 41-73 with 30 games left on the schedule.
...Things that make you go hmm: Yuki Yoshimura was thrown out of Tuesday night's game for abusive language. After coming off the field in the top of the 4th, Yoshimura apparently said something while passing by the first base ump and was immediately thrown out of the game. Yoshimura was apparently surprised by it, saying that if he had something to say to the ump, he would have said it to his face.
And from the same article, it appears as though Hayato Terahara's next start might be in jeopardy after he gave up 3 runs (all earned) on 4 hits, a walk, and a home run.
...For the first time since going down with an injury, Shuichi Murata took some fielding practice for about 20 minutes and then spent some time in the batting cages.
...Yoshiyuki Kamei broke through his slump with a 2-for-4 night. It was his first hit since August 23rd.
...Yukinori Moriyama will undergo surgery some time this week after being hit by a pitch that fractured the ulna in his right hand (8/29 during a game against an industrial league team). Moriyama actually also suffered a fracture in his left hand earlier during the season.
...Yoshinobu Takahashi is apparently feeling a little better and was working out at the Giants' training grounds in Kawasaki. But he's still on track of surgery at some point during the month.