Pitching coach Manabu Saito told reporters on Saturday that Brad Penny's tests in the US did not reveal any significant problems. Penny is expected to return to Japan after a few days of rehab.
Nippon Ham Fighters
Shinya Tsuruoka on the two catcher's getting clipped by Josh Whitesell's (LOT) back-swing: "You have to be really careful because that is very dangerous. [As a catcher,] the only thing you can do is move back a little."
The Lions have not played a game in four days: rain out (vs Rakuten), day off, day off, rain out (vs Orix). Batting coach Osamu Abe told reporters on Saturday he was concerned about the hitters losing their momentum, especially the players with less experience.
The Buffaloes worked out for about two hours at Seibu Dome on Saturday after their game against the Seibu Lions (at Omiya) was rained out: workouts for position players included batting practice and fielding practices; pitchers did some running and played some catch. This was their second rain out in four days.
Hikaru Ito participated in the workouts at Seibu Dome on Saturday -- he took batting practice and fielding practice. Ito told reporters that while there was still some swelling, he was otherwise feeling ok.
Akinobu Okada on Josh Whitesell (LOT), via Nikkan Sports: "[Whitesell] did it two days in a row, right? That is not right. I will get someone [from the front office] to say something."
Motohiro Shima banged up right upper arm during a close play at home plate on Saturday. He remained in the game but was ultimately replaced by a pinch-hitter in the 6th inning. Whether or not he plays on Sunday will depend on how he is feeling before the game.
Shima did tell reporters after the game that he was alright and that he planned to play on Sunday.