Chiba Lotte Marines
Shingo Ono took part in pre-game practice at QVC Marine Field today. He threw about 50 pitches in the bullpen and is apparently ready to rejoin the active roster after starting the year (going back to spring camp) with a stress fracture in his right middle finger. Ono could make his first start of the year during an upcoming 3-game series against the Softbank Hawks (4/29 - 5/1).
Nippon Ham Fighters
Masataka Nashida told reporters today that he's planning on calling Masahiro Inui up on the 29th. Masanori Hayashi will likely be sent down for additional work.
The Fighters will be allowing pets during a Ni-gun game at Kamagaya on 5/3 (vs Lotte). A special section called Hello Pet Hospital Pet Park will be in the grass area beyond right. Admission will be 1,000 yen for adults; free for younger children; and free for pets (dogs).
With tonight's loss against the Nippon Ham Fighters, the Buffaloes are now guaranteed a losing month -- even if they sweep their remaining three games in April, they'll still be 7-9-1.
There was a mix-up during a pitching change in the 7th inning of today's game against the Chiba Lotte Marines - the stadium announced Masahide Kobayashi, but Makoto Yoshino arrived in the relief car. Realizing the mistake, Hoshino quickly disappeared into the dugout and Kobayashi had to run in from the bullpen. Chief pitching coach Osamu Fukuma later admitted to sending the wrong pitcher.
Hiroshi Mizohata (Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency) visited Chan Ho Park and Seung-Yeop Lee before tonight's game in order to record a statement encouraging Korean tourists to visit Japan (there has been a drop since the March 11 earthquakes). The video message will be uploaded to the Japan Tourism Agency website.
With tonight's game getting rained out, the Eagles will return to Sendai 1 game above 500. Mission accomplished for Senichi Hoshino.