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Chunichi, Yakult, Hanshin, Hiroshima, Yokohama: April 29, 2012

by on Apr.29, 2012 @ 2:40 pm, under NPB

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons will likely play through their current nine-game stretch using Soma Yamauchi, Shinji Iwata, Masahiro Yamamoto, Daisuke Yamai, Kenichi Nakata, and Kazuki Yoshimi.

Yakult Swallows

Former Hiroshima/Yakult outfielder Shoji Kawai treated Wladimir Balentien to a steak at his restaurant on Friday (?) in exchange for a home run.  Balentien responded with a three-run bomb on Saturday.

Hanshin Tigers

Takumi Akiyama started a Ni-gun game against Softbank on Saturday and tossed as three-hit shutout.  He faced a total 31 batters, threw 114 pitches, and struck out seven.  He also topped out at 147km/h.

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Akihito Fujii warmed up with the Ni-gun players working out at Naruohama on Saturday.  During batting practice, he managed to hit at least one ball over the fence.

Said Fujii, "I am swinging at 100%.  But I am still not sure if the bone has fully healed."

Hiroshima Carp

When reporters as Kenjiro Nomura why he went with Kam Mickolio to close out the 9th on Saturday instead of Dennis Sarfate, he replied: "[Mickolio] started preparing before [Sarfate] and was doing better than him.  The results did not work out well. ... This is not because I think Sarfate is inconsistent."

Mickolio turned reporters away by saying he was not going to answer any questions.

Sarfate was apparently upset and told reporters, "I am not injured.  I will not say anything.  Talk to the manager."

And chief pitching coach Yutaka Ono's reaction: "We ultimately went with Mickolio, but Sarfate was getting ready too and did not look bad. ... This is a bad outcome.  We need to make sure we take care of Sarfate as well."

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Yusuke Nomura will start tonight's game against the Yakult Swallows.  His next start will also come against the Swallows on five days of rest: May 5 at at Jingu.

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If the Carp need a long-term replacement for Kenta Kurihara, they will most likely look overseas for help.

Yokohama Bay Stars

According to Sports HochiAlex Ramirez was dropped from the starting line-up on Saturday because there was concerned about his defense, his legs, and the spacious Nagoya Dome outfield.

Sponichi also mentions that the Bay Stars want Ramirez to work on building himself up again and that he likely will not return to the starting line-up during Chunichi series.

"We made this decision after thinking about a number of things. ... It told [Ramirez] it will be like a three-day mini-camp.  I said I wanted him to get himself back to where he should be.  I have not seen him swinging the bat like he usually does, so he will rest up and explode beginning in Yokohama," said Kiyoshi Nakahata to reporters on Saturday.