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CL News and Notes: Yomiuri Giants are struggling at Tokyo Dome

by on Jun.15, 2011 @ 11:54 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons will probably start Wei-Ying Chen and Kazuki Yoshimi for their two games series against the Softbank Hawks.

Hanshin Tigers

Yasutomo Kubo's workouts at Naruohama yesterday included running and shoulder strengthening exercises.  He's still on track to begin throwing into a net some time during the week.

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Tomoaki Kanemoto was not available to play off the bench last night (swollen right foot), marking a first since July 1999.

Yomiuri Giants

The Giants have struggled at Tokyo Dome this season.  Last night, when they scored a run in the bottom of the 1st, it was their first Tokyo Dome run in 20 innings.  The Giants have dropped three in a row at Tokyo Dome and now have a dismal 4-10 record at a place they've usually done well in (they won at least 40 games at Tokyo Dome in each of the last 3 seasons).

The offense has also been held to under 10 hits in all 14 games this year at Tokyo Dome.  If they are held to less than 10 hits tonight, it'll tie the franchise record of consecutive games without a double-digit hit game at Tokyo Dome (15 games set in 1991).  What's more, the offense is average just 0.36 homers a game this season, down from 1.94 in 2010, 1.52 in 2009, and 1.63 in 2008.

Alex Ramirez's solution to the problem: he jokingly told reporters that the Giants should switch the ball they use at Tokyo Dome.

Yakult Swallows

Hiroyasu Tanaka struck out looking with runners on first and second in the bottom of the 7th and then came back to hit a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 9th and a walk-off sac fly in the bottom of the 11th last night against the Seibu Lions.

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When Josh Whitesell was ejected from last night's game for arguing a strike call in the 9th inning of last night's game, the Swallows were forced to use their last position player (Masakazu Fukukawa) off the bench.

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The Swallows currently have 4 players that might make it onto the All-Star roster through fan balloting (Yoshinori at starting pitcher; Kazuhiro Hatakeyama at first; and Norichika Aoki and Wladimir Balentien in the outfield).  If the numbers don't change and all four make it, it'll mark the third time in franchise history that four players were selected by fans.

FYI: the Swallows ended up winning the Nippon Series the two previous times four of their players were voted onto the All-Star roster by fans (1978 and 1993).

Hiroshima Carp

Tomonori Maeda turned 40 yesterday.