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7/26/2011: Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Tsuyoshi Nishioka

by on Jul.26, 2011 @ 3:18 pm, under MLB

Games from the 25th:

New York Yankees 10 - Seattle Mariners 3
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first.  He went 1-for-3: strikeout swinging, sac fly to center, ground out to first, single to right (run scored).  The Mariners have now lost a franchise high 16 straight games.

Oakland A's 7 - Tampa Bay Rays 5
Hideki Matsui started in left and batted third.  He went 1-for-4: walk, fly out to right, ground out to short, single to center (run scored), ground out to first.

Texas Rangers 20 - Minnesota Twins 6
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted ninth.  He went 0-for-4: fly out to right, ground out to third, reaches on fielding error (E5) and an RBI, ground out to third.

Cleveland Indians 3 - LA Angels 2
Hisanori Takahashi entered the game in the bottom of the 9th, with the bases loaded, 1 out, and the game tied at 2.  Takahashi  managed to retire the first batter he faced, but allowed the walk-off winning run to score on an single to right.  Final line: 0.1 IP, 2 BF, 4-2 NP-S, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR.  Takahashi told reporters after the game that he didn't think he was going to pitch since he assumed the closer would finish the game and that he wasn't fully prepared (or warmed up) to pitch.

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Hideki Matsui was named AL Player of the Week on the 25th.  A snip from an MLB.com article:

OAKLAND -- A's designated hitter and left fielder Hideki Matsui was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Majors last week in batting average.

Matsui hit .571 (12-for-21) for the week, and had seven RBIs while knocking two doubles and a pair of home runs -- including the 500th of his career (combined between Japan and the Major Leagues). The slugger also led the Majors with a .591 on-base percentage and was second with a .952 slugging percentage.

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ESPN's Bruce Levine notes that there are at least four teams interested in Kosuke Fukudome. A snip:

With the trade deadline fast approaching, at least four teams are zeroing in on Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, according to major league sources.

...

The Cleveland Indians are one of several teams that have a focus on bringing in a veteran outfielder and the 34-year-old Fukudome may fit the bill.

According to a major league source, Fukudome has a limited no-trade clause in his deal which allows him to block six teams. It's unknown if the Indians are on that list.

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It seems there are also four teams interested in Koji Uehara as well.  From the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:

The Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are among the teams that have expressed interest in Uehara, who said Sunday that he definitely plans on playing in the United States next year. His family lives year round in Baltimore and that was one of the reasons Uehara signed an incentive-laden deal to return this past offseason.

"I love it here obviously," Uehara said. "I love the Baltimore Orioles, but it's not going to be any fun if we don't win. That's the dilemma."

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The latest on the Hiroki Kuroda trade front, via MLB.com's Ken Gurnick:

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, the subject of increasing trade speculation, had not been asked to waive his no-trade clause for any specific club as of Monday.

"I haven't talked to Ned [Colletti, general manager] or my agent or had any meeting in recent days," said Kuroda, who would need to approve any assignment. "I haven't heard anything from anybody."

Colletti, who met with Kuroda last week and told him he would keep the pitcher informed, said Monday that no deal is imminent.

...

He said he's aware of the rumored destinations (the clubs most frequently mentioned are Detroit, Cleveland, Texas and the Yankees), but again wouldn't speculate on whether he would approve a deal.

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Akinori Otsuka is still hoping he'll be ready to attend some tryouts during/after the summer.  A number of MLB clubs (including the San Diego Padres) have also apparently spoken to Otsuka, unofficially, about possible tryouts, assuming his elbow is 100%.