Takahiro Mahara threw 20 pitches in the bullpen today at the Saitozaki training facilities. Mahara had his right shoulder checked out yesterday and was given the green light (muscle strain near right shoulder).
Toru Hosokawa generally walks to the batter's box with Kiyoshi Hikawa's Zundoko-bushi in the background, but for some reason (probably to get some laughs), Munenori Kawasaki and Nobuhiro Matsuda decided to swap out his tune with Marumo-no Okite for his first at bat last night.
With 2 out and runners on first and second in the 2nd inning of last night's game, Ryo Sakata fielded a single into right and threw the ball into third. Takeshi Yamasaki, who was the lead runner at second at the time, managed to come around and score. Sakata was no longer in the line-up when the top of the 3rd began.
Said Hisanobu Watanabe, "I don't have any use for players without a fighting spirit. Why did he throw to third?"
Nippon Ham Fighters
Keisaku Itokazu told reporters yesterday that it was the first time he recorded a win with his wife and children watching from the stands.
"I won a game in front of my wife and daughter for the first time. I usually give up a bunch and leave the game early... I gave up a grand slam my last outing and thought I'd be demoted, but they gave me another chance. I'm glad I was able to come through," said Itokazu.
Takahiro Okada was taken off the active roster yesterday because of his inconsistent performance at the plate. When asked about Okada's status, Akinobu Okada said, "There's no timetable [for his return]. He's of no use to us as he is now. All he does his swing at pitches in the dirt. He needs to deal with that by himself."
Okada already played in a Ni-gun game against Softbank yesterday (started at first and batted fourth) and went 1-for-4.