It seems Dennis Houlton may end up starting game 3 of the Final Stage. During full squad practice on Sunday at Yahoo Dome, Houlton tossed 54 pitches in the bullpen in an effort to show that his right adductor muscle was fine. Assuming no setbacks, Houlton will probably start a Phoenix League game on the 9th against Seibu. If he does fine there, Houlton will likely start game 3 of the Final Stage, behind Toshiya Sugiuchi and Tsuyoshi Wada.
Houlton was taken off the active roster on 9/1 with discomfort in his right adductor muscle. He did manage to make another Ichi-gun start on 9/20 against Seibu, but lasted only 2 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits (including 2 homers).
Kazumi Saito started playing catch again earlier today (10/4). It was his first game of catch since January this year. Saito spent about 10 minutes throwing the ball 80 times at distance of about 15 meters. Saito is hoping to be ready to pitch again next year.
Hitoshi Tamura started working with weights again on Sunday. He also took BP and told reporters that he wasn't feeling quite right at the plate, but also wasn't worried because he didn't want to peak too soon before the start of the Climax Series.