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7/22/2011: Ichiro Suzuki, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Hideki Matsui

by on Jul.22, 2011 @ 10:44 pm, under MLB

Games from the 21st:

Toronto Blue Jays 7 - Seattle Mariners 5
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first.  He went 3-for-4: infield single, walk (steals second), RBI single to center, infield single (run scored), fly out to right.

Detroit Tigers 6 - Minnesota Twins 2
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted eighth.  He went 0-for-3: ground out to the pitcher, ground out to second, strikeout swinging.


Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5 - Pawtucket Red Sox 4
Hideki Okajima entered the game in the top of the 8th, with Pawtucket up 3-2, and gave up 3 runs (sac fly, 2-run homer) over an inning of work.  Okajima blew his 5th save and suffered his first loss of the year (5-1).  Final line: 1 IP, 7 BF, 30-19 NP-S, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR.


The Oakland A's tried to recover Hideki Matsui's 500th home run ball, but failed because the 15-year-old kid that caught it said he didn't want to give it up because it was the first baseball he ever caught at a game.

And Nikkan Sports is carrying a few comments from Matsui:

You hit a great home run.

It was a fastball that got a lot of the plate.  It was my third at bat [of the game] so I had a good idea of what was coming.  In terms of distance, I thought it was good enough.  The fact that it hit the pole means it'll be a good memory for me.

Are home runs special for batters?

The most special.  It's the best outcome, the home run.  But I'm not thinking home run when I get in the batter's box.

Your thoughts on your home run production decreasing after leaving Japan...

I'm sure there are a number of reasons.  Different pitchers, different baseballs, different sizes stadiums.  There are a lot of differences (between the NPB and the MLB).  It certainly isn't the same field.