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CL News and Notes: Alex Ramirez (YOM) sits out a full game for the first time since 2001

by on Aug.22, 2011 @ 2:54 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons have been held to 2 runs or less over their last 7 games.  The last time that happened was back in 1998.  And while the 1998 Dragons only managed a 3-4 record, the 2011 Dragons have managed a 4-2-1 record.

Hanshin Tigers

Even though Kyuji Fujikawa's night was done after his perfect bottom of the 9th last night, he still got up to play catch in front of the dugout in the top of the 10th.  Nikkan Sports figures Fujikawa was playing mind games with the Yokohama Bay Stars, even though he says he was just playing catch because his shoulder was feeling a little tight.

Incidentally, Fujikawa has yet to toss more than an inning in relief this season.

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After giving up runs in back-to-back outings, the Tigers went with Tatsuya Kojima over Hiroyuki Kobayashi.

"There were a lot of left-handed bats in the 11th inning and in those kinds of situations, we'll turn to Kojima," said pitching coach Takashi Yamaguchi.

When asked to comment on whether or not Kobayashi will be bumped from his set-up role, Yamaguchi said he still wasn't sure.

Yomiuri Giants

Tetsuya Utsumi threw 57 pitches in the bullpen at Giants Stadium today.  He also spent some time working the corners with the assumption he was facing left-handed batters.

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Alex Ramirez was benched for the 2nd straight game yesterday and didn't even make it into the game as a pinch-hitter.  For Ramirez, it was the first time he missed a full game, not due to injury, since 6/15/2001.  Ramirez should be back in the starting line-up again beginning tomorrow.

Yakult Swallows

For the first time in 11 years, the Swallows will not finish the season with a losing record against the Yomiuri Giants.  At 10-6-4 with 4 games remaining, the Swallows can do no worse that .500.

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A day after missing a game because of teeth pains, Wladimir Balentien knocked out another homer and has now hit 6 in his last 8 games.

Said Balentien, "I became a disturbance for the team yesterday so I really wanted to do well today.  My teeth (tooth) still hurts."

Regarding his recent surge: "With the help of general coach Takao Ise, I checked out video to spot differences in my hitting mechanics between when I was hitting well and when I wasn't.  I think I've managed to get back my good mechanics back."

Balentien currently leads the CL with 25 homers.