The Hawks recorded their 151st stolen base of the year on Friday. That's a new franchise record since moving to Fukuoka.
Yuichi Honda is just 2 away from becoming just the 3rd player in NPB history to record 2 consecutive seasons of 50 or more sac hits. The other two players: Masahiro Kawai in 1990 (58) and 1991 (66); and Ken Hirano in 1990 (50) and 1991 (50).
Tsuyoshi Wada presented his multi-player autographed mini-bus to the Fukushima High School Baseball Federation on Friday. After the presentation ceremony, 17 high baseball players from Futaba High School got onto the bus and headed to Kleenex Stadium to catch Softbank Hawks - Rakuten Eagles game.
Around 80 players from the 12 NPB teams autographed the sides of the bus.
There was talk that Toshiya Sugiuchi might be able to return to the active roster for a start against the Nippon Ham Fighters on the 29th, but it seems there's a chance that his return might be pushed back until October.
The media learned on Thursday that the Hawks might not be able to hold a public viewing event at Yahoo Dome should they be in position to clinch while the team is playing on the road because a number of other events have already been booked at the stadium.
Team owner Masayoshi Son apparently wants to attend the team celebration if the Hawks clinch first while they're in the Tokyo area. There's also a possibility the Hawks will stream the festivities online (something Son is also pushing for, in case he can't attend).
Nippon Ham Fighters
Atsunori Inaba developed a cramp in his left calf during his at bat in the 4th inning of Friday's game against the Orix Buffaloes and was replaced by a pinch-runner after hitting a double. He wasn't taken to the hospital and instead had the area iced.
The Fighters will be selling tickets at half price (to games between 10/5 and 10/4) for 60 minutes after: 1) a player hits a homer, 2) the teams records double-digit hits, or 3) the team strikes out 10 or more batters during a 9 game home stretch between 10/4 and 10/14. For more information, check out the official team site.
Masahiro Tanaka (ERA, wins, winning percentage), Ryo Hijirisawa (stolen bases), and Takahiro Shiomi (rookie of the year) are in a position to win some titles. Senichi Hoshino wants all of them to do their best to come out on top.
"I'll do what I can to help out players that are in the running to win a title. ... Team titles are more important, but individual titles stay with your forever. It would be a shame to waste that opportunity. ... [But] it's ultimately up to the player to win [that title]. If Shiomi can't pitch 5 full innings, then he's not going to get any victories."
The media learned on Friday that Hiromichi Fujiwara's wife gave birth to the couple's first child, a girl weighing 2,880 grams, on the 21st in a Hokkaido hospital.
The Eagles have about 2,000 same-day tickets available for Saturday's (9/24) game against the Softbank Hawks.