Morimichi Takagi let his frustrations get the better of him on Friday: after Hitoki Iwase gave up two back-to-back homers and the game ended in a 3-3 tie, fans on the third base side started heckling the players. One fan called for Takagi to use his brain, which prompted Takagi to pop out of the dugout and shout out in reply, "I am thinking, you idiot!" The team PR rep quickly pulled Takagi off the field.
A number of players, including Kazuhiro Wada and Ryosuke Hirata, were also reportedly seen getting into it with fans: they responded to the jeers by shouting things like "Think you can say whatever you like just because you paid money?!"
Iwase gave up back-to-back homers on Friday for the first time since September 25, 2004.
For the second season in a row, Wladimir Balentien is the first batter in either league to reach double-digit homers.
The Swallows drew 33,866 fans on Friday, the second highest total on public record since August 20, 2005 (34,162).
The players presented Shinya Miyamoto with a 1,550,000 yen Hublot wristwatch. Miyamoto's parents, wife, and four children were in the stands for hit number 2,000 on Friday. He also received about two-hundred congratulatory e-mails on Friday night.
According to Nikkan Sports, Miyamoto batted lead-off in eighty-one games, second in 770 games, third in sixteen games, and fifth in fifty-six games. A separate Nikkan Sports article also provides a breakdown of his hits: 1,646 singles, 268 doubles, 27 triples, 59 homer runs; and 272 infield hits, 511 hits to left, 583 hits to center, and 634 hits to right.
The Swallows will host Miyamoto Milestone Memorial Day on May 30 (vs Nippon Ham).
Takayuki Takaguchi was hit by a pitch on his left hand during today's Ni-gun game against Nippon Ham and was taken to the hospital for an evaluation. He was diagnosed with a fracture in his left hand.
Dicky Gonzalez (left inner oblique strain) threw around forty pitches into a net today. The net was set up about twenty meters away from him; he threw at seventy to eighty percent. Gonzalez told reporters that it was the third time he threw into a new and that he did not feel any pain.
Michihiro Ogasawara worked out at Giants Stadium for about an hour and fifteen minutes today (played some catch, took soft toss batting practice, took batting practice against a pitching machine).
Ogasawara worked with Ikusei player Takayuki Ogino on his hitting during workouts at Giants Stadium today.
"I was surprised [with Ogasawara's offer to help]. I was really nervous. He told me things like how to use my body. I want to do my best to take in the advice he gave me," said Ogino.
Toshiya Sugiuchi tossed a one-hit shutout against the Hanshin Tigers on Friday. Hirokazu Sawamura tossed a one-hit shutout against Yokohama on April 13. According to Sponichi, the last time two Giant pitchers tossed one-hit shutouts in the same season was 1985: Keith Comstock vs Chunichi on April 26 and Suguru Egawa vs Hanshin on August 3.
Sugiuchi has the kanji "Sugi" written on the underbill of his cap. But on his glove and cleats, the kanji "Saku," for his son Sakuya. Apparently because it makes him feel like his son is watching over him.
Takahiro Arai's homer in the 4th inning of today's game against the Yomiuri Giants was not only the team's first homer at Koshien this season, but also the team's first homer in sixteen games.
According to Nikkan Sports: The Tigers suffered their sixth shutout losses in their thirtieth game of the season. They have had three other similar starts since the start of the two league format. The last in 1974. If you include the 0-0 tie from April 30, the Tigers have been held to zero runs seven times in their first thirty games. That is the second worst since they were held to zero runs eight times in 1963.
Yuya Fukui will likely be sent down to Ni-gun on Sunday.
Yokohama Bay Stars
Norihiro Nakamura became the twenty-second player in NPB history to hit a homer against twelve different teams when he slammed his solo homer off Hitoki Iwase and the Chunichi Dragons on Friday.
Sanspo notes that most of the fifty fans that purchased tickets with money back guarantees on Friday showed up at the refund window after the game.