Takeya Nakamura was left out of the starting line-up today for the first time this season. The reason likely has to do with him getting hit by a pitch on his left hand during a game against Chunichi on the 4th -- Nakamura was ok to play yesterday and even hit a home run, but his hand swelled up today.
Nakamura did make an appearance during tonight's game as a pinch-hitter 9th and struck out.
Nippon Ham Fighters
Masataka Nashida recorded his 600th career managerial victory today.
Yoshio Itoi was left out of the starting line-up today due to tightness in his back (he left yesterday's game early for the same reason).
Hayato Terahara recorded a victory against the Hanshin Tigers tonight. That means he's just a Rakuten Eagles' victory away from becoming the second pitcher in NPB history (the other being Kimiyasu Kudo) to record victories against all 12 NPB teams plus Kintetsu.
The Hanshin Tiger players finally had a chance to greet Akinobu Okada before today's game (there wasn't enough time during the prior three games.