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Chunichi, Yakult, Yomiuri, Hanshin: March 31, 2012

by on Apr.01, 2012 @ 2:39 am, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

Masahiro Yamamoto is slated to start Sunday's game against the Hiroshima Carp.  If he records a victory, he will become the second oldest pitcher to start and win a game at the age of forty-six years and seven months.  The current record holder: Shinji Hamazaki started and recorded a victory in August 1948 at the age of forty-six years and eight months.

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Kazuki Yoshimi extended his winning streak to fourteen straight (intact since August 13, 2011, includes post-season victories).

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The Central League office presented the Dragons with a replica 2011 Central League Championship Trophy on Friday.  The trophy will be put on display at the Nagoya Dome Museum.

Yakult Swallows

Masanori Ishikawa is not expected to miss any time after he left Friday's game with a cramp in his left calf.

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The Swallows shutout victory on Friday night gave the team their first shutout victory on opening day.  The only active team still without a shutout victory on opening day: the Rakuten Eagles.

Yomiuri Giants

Ryosuke Miyaguni is scheduled to start a Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham (Giant Stadium) on Sunday. That could put Miyaguni in line for an Ichi-gun start against Hanshin (Koshien Stadium) on April 8.

And Dicky Gonzalez will make his first regular season start against Hiroshima (Mazda Stadium) on April 4.  Shun Tono did not make the starting rotation.

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Up until Friday night's game, the Giants were the only remaining active team in the NPB that had not suffered a shutout loss on opening day.  And the last time the team broke up a no-hitter in the ninth inning: Hayato Sakamoto, August 18, 2010 vs Chunichi.

Hanshin Tigers

Ryo Watanabe was not available for today's game because of a fever (not the flu).  The team does not plan on taking Watanabe off the active roster for the time being and will continue to monitor his situation closely.

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Craig Brazell left today's game on defense in the 4th inning because he was not feeling well.

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Kentaro Sekimoto's pinch-hit homer on Friday was the seventh pinch-hit homer hit during a Central League opening day game.  The last pinch-hit homer run hit on opening day: April 6, 1991 by Yonetoshi Kawamata (Chunichi) against Yomiuri and Tadami Futamura (Taiyo) against Hanshin.

It was also the Central League's first pinch-hit homer on opening day that reversed the score.