The Lions announced that they'll have Old-Timer match-ups as part of their pre-game events during Inter-league play. On 5/18 (vs Yokohama), Denney Tomori (SEI) will face Norihiro Komada (YOK); on 5/20 (vs Chunichi), Hirohisa Matsunuma (SEI) will face Kenichi Yazawa (CHU); and on 5/21 (vs Chunichi), Masayuki Matsunuma (SEI) will face Yasushi Tao (CHU).
Nippon Ham Fighters
Yuki Saito had the day off today (he stepped out with Masahiro Inui and Masaru Nakamura). Saito will begin his rehab tomorrow.
Regarding his upcoming schedule, Sanspo mentions he could begin throwing again as early as the 22nd (as in bullpen). GM Masao Yamada also told reporters yesterday that it might not be a bad idea for Saito to rebuild his body from scratch (in other words, working his way back up, starting with lots of running).
Daily Sports notes that if Saito's rehab goes smoothly, he could be ready for an Ichi-gun start on 6/29 (vs Lotte). Pitching coach Masato Yoshii also appears to be on the same page as Yamada, as he also told reporters that there might have been something wrong in Saito's training regimen (as in not enough of it) and that it might be beneficial for him to start over from the beginning.
In the meantime, the Fighters will probably go with a 4-man rotation during Inter-league play that includes Yu Darvish, Masaru Takeda, Brian Wolfe, and Bobby Keppel.
Masataka Nashida is thinking about using Sho Nakata out in left during Inter-league road games.
Nikkan Sports notes that Masahiro Tanaka may have been rushing his delivery a little in the 7th:
There's one number, that showed a very small change, that tells Tanaka's story. The average time between when his left legs begins to move, until the time it lands. In the first inning, it was 1.59 seconds. In the 7th inning, when he was pitching against Takashi Ogino, it was 1.42 seconds.
The Eagles' offense has not collected a timely hit in 57 consecutive innings:
5/5: 4-0 victory vs Softbank -- offense: two RBI singles in the 1st; sac fly in the 7th; RBI double by Takeshi Yamasaki in the 8th (1 inning).
5/6: 2-0 loss vs Seibu (9 innings).
5/7: 4-0 loss vs Seibu (9 innings).
5/8: 4-1 loss vs Seibu -- offense: solo homer by Toshiya Nakashima in the 6th (9 innings).
5/10: 2-0 loss to Nippon Ham (9 innings).
5/11: 1-0 victory to Nippon Ham -- offense: solo homer by Teppei in the 6th (8 innings).
5/13: 1-1 tie vs Lotte -- offense: solo homer by Takeshi Yamasaki in the 7th (12 innings).