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CL News and Notes: Takashi Toritani (HAN) could return to starting line-up on the 28th

by on May.24, 2011 @ 7:57 am, under NPB

Hanshin Tigers

Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi will probably get tonight's start against the Seibu Lions.

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Takahiro Arai apparently made some adjustments to his hitting mechanics during practices that took place after yesterday's game was rained out.  Arai has been held hitless over his last 4 games.

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Daiki Enokida has 9 holds this season.  That ties a CL record for rookie pitchers set by by Kentaro Hashimoto in 2005; Tadashi Settsu holds the NPB record for rookies with 34 holds (2009).

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Takashi Toritani could return to the starting line-up, at short batting third, on the 28th (vs Rakuten).  During practices yesterday, Toritani was able to play catch at a distance of 40 meters (up 10 meters from the previous day's 30 meters).

Said Toritani, "A lot of the pain has gone away.  It isn't getting worse.  Every day it's getting better little by little."

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Despite the rain, Tomoaki Kanamoto did some outdoor running in the outfield yesterday (before the game was called).

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The Tigers have struggled to win against lefties this season (2-9-1) and Sponichi notes they could end up facing 4 of them, including Yoshihisa Naruse (LOT) and Masaru Takeda (HAM), between 5/25 and 6/1 (six games).  And the two righties they might have to face: Yu Darvish (HAM) and Masahiro Tanaka (RAK).

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According to Sanspo, attendance at Tigers stadium has come in under 30,000 just twice since teams started posting figures in 2005: 26,680 on 5/26/2009 and 27,020 on 5/25/2010.  It seems attendance could come in lower than 30,000 again tonight when the Tigers play a make-up game, scheduled from yesterday, against the Seibu Lions.

Sanspo's reason: Both games were make-up Inter-league games against Lotte.  They both also happened to be make-up games of the first game of a 2-game series, giving Hanshin 1 full day to sell tickets.  This time around, the Tigers don't have a full day to sell tickets and they're also in last place.

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President Nobuo Minami told reporters yesterday, after the owner update meetings, that it was important for the team to be patient as they waited for the players to turn things around.  Owner Shinya Sakai left the meetings without making any comments to the press.

Hiroshima Carp

Yuya Fukui will probably get tonight's start against the Chiba Lotte Marines.