...The Hawks will be going for their third consecutive Inter-league title. Toshiya Sugiuchi will be going for his second consecutive Inter-league MVP title. Sugiuchi also has 13 career Inter-league victories.
...Koji Akiyama apparently liked what he saw when he spent some time watching Shuhei Fukuda take BP (especially from the left side) the other day. Fukuda was added to the active roster back near the end of April but has only taken part in four games, all as a pinch-runner.
...With Nobuhiro Matsuda out, Bum-Ho Lee should see more playing time moving forward.
...Nobuhiko Matsunaka was replaced by a pitch-hitter for his AB in the third inning during a Ni-gun game against the Hanshin on Tuesday. When asked what the problem was later on, Matsunaka said that it had nothing to with his knees and that he was just feeling a little tight from all the recent work. It seems field conditions also played into the decision to take Matsunaka out early -- no sense in leaving him in the game if he ends up hurting himself while playing defense.
...Roberto Petagine could play in his first Ni-gun game as early as the 21st (vs Chunichi as Yahoo Dome). Moving ahead, Petagine will likely compete with Lee for a spot on the active roster. The other three spots are are more or less set in stone: Dennis Houlton, Brian Falkenborg, and Jose Ortiz.
...It seems Hiroki Kokubo will be the team's clean-up hitter for the rest of the season. Akiyama told reporters on Tuesday that the line-up will basically center around Kokubo.
...Akiyama is just 2 victories away from his 100th managerial win.