Morimichi Takagi told reporters he did not send in a pinch-hitter for Jorge Sosa in the 7th inning of Sunday's game against Yokohama because he felt Sosa might be able to connect.
Said Takagi to reporters, "I was counting on him to hit a homer. I have seen him hit during spring camp. He was pitching well today and I told him to be ready if his at bat comes around. I would have sent in a pinch-hitter if there were runners on base. ... I wanted to see how he would hit. But he did better than some of the other younger players -- he hit a solid grounder to third."
Pitching coach Hiroshi Gondo added, "It was not the 9th inning and there were still chances for us to scratch back. We did have other players like the older Donoue, but we need to save them [in case we needed them later]. [Sosa] is a good pitcher so I suggested he bat. It was something we have considered before. We even thought about giving him an at bat before he throws a single pitch, but that idea was turned down because it would not give him enough time to warm-up."
Sosa was replaced on the mound by Masato Kobayashi in the bottom of the 7th.
Shinichi Takeuchi was taken off the active roster on Sunday with pain in his right wrist. Takeuchi tweaked the wrist during batting practice on Saturday.
According to Sponichi, hitters are 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position against Hirokazu Sawamura this season. The two hits, Nikkan Sports: RBI single by Keiichi Hirano (HAN) with runners on second and third in the 5th inning on April 6; and a two-run triple by Shingo Kawabata (YAK) with runners on first and second in the 1st inning on April 21.
Sports Hochi Osaka notes that the Tigers plan to send Shinji Komiyama and Kohei Shibata to Ni-gun in order to make room for Ryota Imanari and Issei Morita on Tuesday. Nikkan Sports and Sanspo report that Komiyama and Shibata will be sent down for Imanari and Kenichi Tagami.
The Tigers have not been able to score more than two runs in any one of their last ten games. That ties the franchise record set in August 1959.
The Tigers held an emergency meeting involving position players after Sunday's 1-2 loss to the Yomiuri Giants.
Yuki Saito will join the Ichi-gun roster in place of Yuya Fukui. Saito will likely get a start during an upcoming series against the Chunichi Dragons (May 11-13).
According to Sports Hochi Osaka, Hiroshima used their twenty-sixth different line-up on Sunday.
Yokohama Bay Stars
The twenty-six year age difference in starters on Sunday, Yuki Kuniyoshi (twenty-years and seven months) and Masahiro Yamamoto (forty-six years and eight months), set an NPB record. The previous record of twenty-give years and three months was set by Katsumi Fuse (twenty years and four months) and Tadashi Wakabayashi (forty-five years and seven months) on October 4, 1953.
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo's (twenty years and five months) homer off Yamamoto also set an NPB record for largest age difference (twenty-six years) between the batter that hit a homer and the pitcher. The previous high was set by Hayato Sakamoto (twenty years and three months) and Kimiyasu Kudo (forty-give years and eleven months) on April 8, 2009.
Pitching coach Yui Tomori told Kuniyoshi before Sunday's start that his performance would determine whether or not he gets sent down to Ni-gun.
Partially Refundable tickets: Despite going 3-0-1 over their last four games, more than half of the forty-five fans that purchase refundable tickets on Sunday wanted some sort of a refund.
"There were some fans that wanted refunds because of the team's past performances. The refundable ticket concept did fairly well with the fans and we will look into the numbers to see if we might be able to do it again," said a baseball rep.
Advance scout Akira Tanaka joined the Bay Stars this year after spending more than ten years as advance scout for the Chunichi Dragons. Tanaka joined the Ichi-gun players in the dugout on Friday, in time for the Chunichi series.