=== 9:33pm JST
...Satoshi Fukuda and Takahiko Nomaguchi both pitched in Sunday's Ikusei League game against Shonan. Fukuda started the game and gave up 1 run on 2 hits over 5 innings of work. Nomaguchi followed and scattered 3 hits over 4 shutout innings. Nomaguchi told reporters that he's currently working on polishing up his fastball and change.
...Tatsunori Hara told reporters after Sunday's game that he didn't plan on announcing the opening day starter yet.
=== 3:46pm JST
...The opening day starter is down to the following two candidates:
Tetsuya Utsumi's exhibition game outings:
3/14 vs Hanshin Tigers: 6 IP, 23 BF, 106 NP, 5 H, 3 SO, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 ER
3/7 vs Softbank Hawks: 5 IP, 21 BF, 88 NP, 3 H, 8 SO, 3 BB, 1 R, 0 ER
2/28 vs Seibu Lions: 3 IP, 10 BF, 34 NP, 0 H, 1 SO, 1 HBP, 0 R, 0 ER
Dicky Gonzalez's exhibition game outings:
3/13 vs Orix Buffaloes: 5 IP, 17 BF, 67 NP, 1 H, 2 SO, 3 BB, 0 R, 0 ER
3/6 vs Softbank Hawks: 5 IP, 18 BF, 63 NP, 3 H, 3SO, 1 BB, 0 R, 0 ER
Based on the numbers, I think Utsumi will get the nod for the opening day start.
...Hayato Sakamoto may have collected two hits in Saturday's game against the Orix Buffaloes, including his first home run during exhibition play, but he also did miss out on hitting bunt in the 7th, prompting Tatsunori Hara to say that he still wasn't out of the woods yet.
For those wondering, Sakamoto hit his first home run in his 34th plate appearance of exhibition play. He also hit another home run on Sunday, in his third at bat, against the Hanshin Tigers.
...Hisayoshi Chono collected his 10th RBI during exhibition play on Saturday against the Orix Buffaloes. He's now second only to Softbank Hawk Munenori Kawasaki's 11 RBIs. The last Yomiuri rookie to record double-digit RBIs was Tsuyoshi Nishioka, back in 1999 when he finished with 11.
...Kyohei Tsuchimoto retired the side in order on Saturday and recorded his second exhibition game save. If he continues to pitch well, he could secure himself a spot on the opening day roster.