Nippon Ham Fighters
Earlier in the year, Masaru Takeda hit a stretch where he couldn't buy a win and lost 5 straight. Since that losing streak ended on 5/29, Takeda has gone 5-0 in 6 starts.
Tomohiro Nioka picked up his first career pinch-hit grand slam yesterday. It was also his 6th grand slam of his career (first since 4/30/2006 when he hit two of them in consecutive at bats) and first franchise pinch-hit grand slam since Yukio Tanaka on 4/28/2007.
Takeya Nakamura currently leads both leagues with 23 homers. The next highest total of 17 belongs to Wladimir Balentien of the Yakult Swallows.
The Lions apparently feel Yasuyuki Kataoka might be able to return to the active roster after the minimum 10 days.
Akinobu Okada will most likely demote Kazuki Kondo and Kentaro Kuwahara after their performances yesterday against the Seibu Lions: Kondo start the game and gave up 5 runs (4 earned) over 5 innings of work; and Kuwahara gave up 2 runs (both earned) over 0.1 innings of work.