Probable Central League Starters
Swallows: Kyohei Muranaka
Giants: Tetsuya Utsumi
The Swallows haven't done well against the Giants this season: only 4 wins (and a tie) in 19 games. It doesn't look that much better for the Swallows tonight as they send Muranaka to the mound. In 6 starts this season, he's given up 22 runs over 24 innings of work. Ouch.
Keizo Kawashima: 4 G, 8-for-17, 5 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR, 4 K, BB
The Giants will turn to Utsumi, who appears to be settling back down after a rough 3-game stretch in August that saw him give up 13 runs (12 earned) over 17 innings of work.
Yoshitomo Tani: 2 G, 3-for-7, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR, K, BB
Dragons: Masahiro Yamamoto
Bay Stars: Stephen Randolph
The Dragons turn to 44-year-old veteran Yamamoto to help continue their dominance over the Bay Stars (16-4). Yamamoto returned to the active roster on September 11th and tossed 6 innings while giving up a run on 3 hits against the Swallows.
Masahiko Morino: 5 G, 9-for-20, 3 R, 5 RBI, 3 2B, K, 3 BB
Randolph has been a very welcome surprise to the Bay Stars rotation. And he was utterly dominant in a start against the Dragons on the 5th: 8.2 IP, 2 H, 15 K, 3 BB, HBP, 0 ER.
Seiichi Uchikawa: 6 G, 8-for-22, R, 5 RBI, 4 2B, 3 K, 4 BB
Probable Pacific League Starters
Eagles: Masahiro Tanaka
Marines: Naoyuki Shimizu
The Eagles have won the last 5 match-ups between these two teams. And who better than to try and keep that streak going than Tanaka. In 4 games against the Eagles this season, Tanaka is 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA over 33.1 innings of work. In his last start against the Marines (8/14) he went 8 innings and gave up 2 runs (both earned) on 7 hits, a walk, and 8 strike outs for the win.
Teppei: 6 G, 8-for-22, 6 R, 6 RBI, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 K, 2 BB, HBP
Shimizu hasn't had quite as much success against the Eagles as Tanaka but is undefeated against them in 2 games this year: 2-0, 3.94 ERA, 16 IP, 7 ER. He's also coming off a solid win against the Fighters on the 11th: 7 IP, 7 H, 6 K, 3 BB, 2 ER, 2 R.
Kazuya Fukuura: 6 G, 8-for-20, R, 4 RBI, 2 2B, 2 K, 4 BB
Lions: Kazuyuki Hoashi
Hawks: Justin Germano
Hoashi is coming off two back-to-back complete game victories (18 IP, 14 H, 16 K, BB, R, ER) as he looks to win his 8th game of the season. The Lions are on a 2-game slide right now.
G.G. Sato: 6 G, 8-for-20, 5 R, 4 RBI, 2B, 3 HR, 3 K, 2 BB, HBP
Like the Lions, the Hawks have also lost 2 in a row and just 2-6 over their last 8. But they have also won 4 straight against the Lions. Germano's last start on 9/11 went fairly well (6 IP, 5 H, 2 K, BB, HBP, R, ER) but the team still lost 7-4.
Hiroki Kokubo (vs the Lions): 26-for-78, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 17 K, 9 BB, 2 HBP
Buffaloes: Mamoru Kishida
Fighters: Tomoya Yagi
Kishida has tossed 2 complete games in his last three starts and is 2-1. In 2 starts against the Fighters this year, he's 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA over 16 innings of work (12 H, 16 K, BB, 6 R, 6 ER).
Tomotaka Sakaguchi: 4 G, 7-for-18, 6 R, 3 2B, 4 K, 2 BB
Since Yagi's last victory on 8/4, he has gone 0-2 and given up 12 runs (all earned) on 30 hits, 12 walks, and 15 strike outs in 31 innings of work. But that also includes a 5-run outing on 8/18 that he had against the Eagles.
Yoshio Itoi: 4 G, 8-for-15, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, HR, 2 K, 1 HBP