Today's Likely Central League Starters
Giants: Shun Tono
Tigers: Minoru Iwata
Bay Stars: Hitoshi Fujie
Swallows: Hiromitsu Takagi
Carp: Kan Ohtake
Dragons: Kenta Asakura
If the Swallows really want a chance at the post-season, they need to start turning things around. While they did lose last night, they also managed to score 5 runs, a potential sign that the offense might be coming around (it was the first time they scored more than 4 runs in a game this month).
Takagi has been used primarily as a reliever this year, although in very limited action (7 games, 1 start). The same could be said of Fujie, although he has officially started 4 games out of 6 (although he's only averaging just under 4 innings per start).
The Swallows are now 1.5 games out of first and in dire need of a win.
Seiichi Uchikawa: 4 G, 6-for-15, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 2B, 3B, 1 R, 5 RBI
The Giants can help the Swallows' efforts if they can pull off a victory against the Tigers.
Iwata is coming off a complete game, shut-out victory against the Dragons and while Tono has given up 8 runs (5 earned) over his last 11 inning of work.
Tomoaki Kanemoto: 4 G, 7-for-16, BB, 5 K, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI
The Carp - Dragons game should be interesting as both starters have done relatively well against one another's team. Ohtake carries a 2.06 ERA in 5 starts and 35 IP against the Dragons while Asakura has a 2.89 ERA in 5 starts over 28 IP.
Kazuhiro Wada: 4 G, 5-for-13, 3 BB, 2 K, 3 HR, 5 R, 7 RBI
Today's Likely Pacific League Starters
Fighters: Brian Sweeney
Eagles: Satoshi Nagai
Marines: Yuta Ohmine
Lions: Ming-Chieh Hsu
Buffaloes: Kazuki Kondo
Hawks: Tsuyoshi Wada
A somewhat important game for the Eagles tonight. Another loss will mean a 3-game losing streak and could also result in their lead over the Lions to drop to an uncomfortable 1 game.
Nagai has been pretty good of late, going 3-0 in his last 4 starts, including 2 CG game victories. Sweeny wasn't very effective in his last start, giving up 4 runs over 5 innings of work, but did toss 7 shut-out innings in his start before that.
Yoshio Itoi has also played an import role in helping the Fighters break out of their 6-game losing streak: 2 G, 4-for-8, 2 2B, HR, 3 R, 1 RBI
The Lions will likely turn to Ming-Chieh Hsu for a spot start against Ohmine, who will look to extend his 3-game winning streak against a team he has faced only one other time this season (7 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 ER).
Takuya Nakamura since his return: 5 G, 6-for-18, 2 BB, 5 K, 2B, 3 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
Wada looks to bounce back from a tough start in which he last only 3.2 inning while giving up 6 runs (all earned); this will also be his second start since returning to the active roster (left elbow inflammation). Kondo has lost his last 3 starts and will also try to turn things around.
Munenori Kawasaki: 3 G, 6-for-13, 2 BB, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI