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PL News and Notes: Weather could ruin Yuki Saito – Masahiro Tanaka match-up

by on Aug.31, 2011 @ 4:15 pm, under NPB

Softbank Hawks

From a Ni-gun game against Orix on Tuesday:

Shuhei Fukuda started in right and batted second.  He went 5-for-5 with 6 RBI (including a solo homer in the 4th and a grand slam in the 5th). ... Hiroki Yamada started the game and gave up a run on 3 hits (solo homer) over 5 innings of work.

Chiba Lotte Marines

Yoshihisa Naruse recorded his 10th victory yesterday and now has 4 double-digit win season in his career (the last 3 coming in consecutive seasons).  He is the first Lotte pitcher to win 10 or more games, 3 years straight since Hiroyuki Kobayashi (2005-2007) and the first Lotte left-handed pitcher since Norihiro Mizutani did it 4 years in a row (1980-1983).

Naruse also tossed his 12th no walk / HBP game of his career, 4th of the season.  That's puts him in sole possession of 2nd on the active pitchers All-time list, right behind Daisuke Miura's (YOK) 14 and Hisashi Iwakuma's (RAK) 11.  The 4 this season makes him the first pitcher to record 4 or more in 2 consecutive seasons since Matt Keough (1988-1989).  The last Lotte pitcher to record 4 or more in 2 consecutive seasons: Masaaki Kitaru (1970-1971).

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The Marines notched their 3,999th franchise victory last night.

Nippon Ham Fighters

Sho Nakata picked up his 13th homer of the year last night.  It was also his first home in 19 games.  Earlier in the game (first at bat in the 2nd inning), Nakata also snapped an 0-for-20 slide (26 plate appearances) with an infield single.

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Masataka Nishida told reporters he wasn't sure how the starting rotation was going to end up, especially when two of their next games are scheduled at QVC Marine and a typhoon on the way (meaning the Yuki Saito vs Masahiro Tanaka on 9/10 is at the whims of the weather).

"Seems like the calm before the storm," said Nashida.  "The papers mention the possible match-up of Saito and Ma-kun, but it's really up to the rain.  If we were playing our games in domed stadiums, then that might be a real possibility, but we will be playing in Chiba..."

Rakuten Eagles

Luis Garcia was held out of last night's game because he wasn't feeling well.  Garcia also returned to Sendai, but not before getting checked out at a hospital in Akita.