...Tony Blanco hit a home run on the first pitch he saw from Shun Tono in his second at bat on Thursday. Against the Yomiuri Giants last season, Blanco hit 7 home runs, all within the first 3 pitches he saw and four with the count at 0-1. Prior to the game on Thursday, Hiromitsu Ochiai spent some time working with Blanco, who was hitless in his last 3 games. If you include the practice games in Okinawa, Blanco had been just 1 for his last 16 with 8 strike outs.
Incidentally, Blanco has managed to get his weight back down to 110kg (he started camp at 115kg).
...Daisuke Yamai has not won a game in 2 years. He hit a batter in the head during his last outing on 2/27 and was promptly ejected. On Thursday, he appeared a lot more settled in and tossed 6 shutout innings while giving up two hits and striking out six; he did not walk, or hit, a batter.