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2011 All-Star Game News and Notes: July 25, 2011

by on Jul.25, 2011 @ 12:14 pm, under NPB

Yoshinori Sato (YAK), Sho Nakata (HAM), and Yuki Karakawa (LOT) ate dinner together the night before Game 3 of the All-Star series.  This was apparently when Yoshinori told Nakata that he would challenge him with nothing but fastballs.

Yoshinori's invited guests to Game 3: his parents and Izumi Saito's parents.

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Matt Murton (HAN) safely collected a hit in all three All-Star games and became the first foreign Hanshin Tiger (second overall in franchise history) to do so since Mike Reinbach in 1979.  And the last Tiger player to collect hits in 3 straight All-Star games: Akinobu Mayumi in 1982.

Murton is also the 5th foreign player in ASG history to collect hits in three straight games -- behind Haruo Handa, Don Blazer, Reinbach, and Roberto Petagine.

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A number of players, include Yu Darvish (HAN), Munenori Kawasaki (SOF), and Masahiro Tanaka (RAK), ate dinner together on Thursday (7/21) night in Nagoya.  Tanaka was also picking Darvish's brain on how to throw a curve.

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Yuki Saito (HAM) became the 10th rookie in ASG history (including Minoru Murayama, Hiroshi Gondo, and Tsuneo Horiuchi) to make two or more appearances without allowing a run.

Game 1: 1.2 IP, 22 NP, 7 BF, 3 H, 0 SO, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER

Game 3: 1.0 IP, 9 NP, 3 BF, 0 H, 1 SO, 0 BB, 0 R, 0 ER

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At 38 years and 11 months, Atsunori Inaba (HAM) became the second oldest player to win an ASG MVP award.  The oldest: Choji Murata at 39 years and 8 months in 1989.  He also became the first Fighter to hit 2 homers in an All-Star series since Isao Harimoto (1962), Toshizo Sakamoto (1972), Katsuo Osugi (1972), and Junichi Kashiwabara (1982).

Inaba also told reporters that he might donate some/all his MVP Award money (3M yen) to help support children in northern Japan.

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Of the 25 pitches Yoshinori Sato (YAK) threw yesterday, 23 were fastballs.

1st inning

Munenori Kawasaki (SOF): fastball (150km/h) - ball; fastball (152km/h) - ground out to short

Yuichi Honda (SOF): fastball (150km/h) - strike looking; fastball (152km/h) - infield single (toward second)

Atsunori Inaba (HAM): fastball (148km/h) - ball; fastball (152km/h) - 2 run homer to right

Takeshi Yamasaki (RAK): fastball (150km/h) - ball; fastball (151km/h) - ball; fastball (153km/h) - ball; fastball (146km/h) strike swinging; fastball (153km/h) fouled off; fastball (154km/h) strikeout swinging.

Nobuhiro Matsuda (SOF): fastball (152km/h) - strike looking; slider (137km/h) - ball; fastball (151km/h) - ground out to short

2nd inning

Takahiro Okada (ORI): fastball (149km/h) - strike looking; slider (132km/h) - ball; fastball (148km/h) - strike swinging; fastball (151km/h) - single to right

Sho Nakata (HAM): fastball (153km/h) - fouled off; fastball (151km/h) - fouled off; fastball (153km/h) - ball; fastball (152km/h) - double play

Yoshio Itoi (HAM): fastball (151km/h) - fouled off; fastball (151km/h) - ground out to second

Note: Nikkan Sports mentions that Yoshinori hit 155km/h on the radar gun at least twice (first and third pitch to Nakata) and Sport Hochi notes that Yoshinori hit 155km/h when he struck out Yamasaki.  Incidentally, the radar gun readings I've quoted above are from Yahoo Sports Japan.

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Tsuyoshi Wada (SOF) hit 148km/h on the radar gun yesterday (broke his previous high of 146km/h).

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The player's association invited 1,000 Self-Defense Force Troops (involved in providing support to quake/tsunami hit areas) to Game 3 of the All-Star series.  Their invitation included a ticket to the game (4,800 yen), a meal ticket (2,000 yen), and various other things like t-shirts (total of about 8,000 yen a person).  The money was taken out of the money all 64 players (including foreign players) paid 200,000 yen to participate in Game 3.