Assuming the Nippon Ham Fighters make it to the Climax Series, it seems they're currently thinking about saving Masaru Takeda until the Final Stage. The reason?
2010 Stats vs the Softbank Hawks
There are apparently two points to this decision:
- The Fighters consider winning the first game of each stage (First and Final) as being key to moving forward.
- Yu Darvish is most likely to start the first game of the First Stage. That means he likely won't be available to start the first game of the Final Stage. M. Takeda has thrown exceptionally well against the Hawks and the Fighters feel he would be the best option next to Darvish.
Nikkan Sports also mentions that Bobby Keppel and Brian Wolfe could make starts during the First Stage. Keisaku Itokzau or Masao Kida could start the second game of the Final Stage. Darvish's next start would then be game 3 of the Final Stage.