...It appears Masataka Nashida is thinking about letting Yu Darvish hit even in situations where it might make sense to send in a pinch-hitter because he feels Darvish "swings a good bat."
"I think he's good. He's better than [Shinya] Tsuruoka. There might even be times where I'll have him hit and then take him out," said Nashida.
...Yoshio Itoi was left out of the starting line-up due to pain in his left groin area. His status for tomorrow's game is up in the air.
...The Nippon Ham Fighters will be playing their next two games at Hakodate. And according to Sanspo, the Fighters have avoided starting Yu Darvish at secondary stadiums since his last secondary stadium start at Matsuyama on 6/9/2007 (no decision, 9 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER). Incidentally, Darvish will be going for his first victory in his fourth start at a secondary stadium.
...Yoshio Itoi complained of tightness in his left groin area and worked out under a different training menu on Friday. Itoi apparently started feeling the discomfort in the area prior to practice. He doesn't appear to be in the starting line-up, so the team is either playing it safe, or he wasn't feeling well enough to play.
Itoi experienced similar pains back on 4/18 (vs Seibu at Seibu Dome) and was left out of the line-up for that game as well.