Hideki Okajima has started the season without allowing a single run over twenty-five consecutive appearances. The Pacific League high is apparently unknown, but he did break the Central League record of twenty-four, held by both Kazuhiro Sasaki and Tetsuya Yamaguchi. Source: Sports Hochi 6/23/2012
Alex Cabrera was seen at Yahoo Dome on Friday but did not take part in pre-game practices. He also did not play in Friday's game. When asked what happened, Koji Akiyama simply replied, "Things happen." Source: Sports Hochi 6/22/2012
An updated report today notes that Cabrera left during practices. The official explanation is that he was not feeling well, but it is also possible that he is not happy with his playing time -- he started the season late because of a calf injury but managed to play in eight games after returning to the active roster on June 8. With Hiroki Kokubo close to returning, Cabrera will most likely be used off the bench. Source: Sponichi 6/23/2012
Kokubo is still slated to return to the active roster if he does not experience any problems after playing in another Ni-gun game today (vs Nippon Ham at Yahoo Dome). Source: Sports Hochi 6/23/2012
Nippon Ham Fighters
Yuki Saito lost his start on Friday. And while he did not want to make any excuses for himself, he did tell reporters that he struggled with his footing on the mound. The grounds crew later explained that the humidity in the Dome was high because of the rain season and the typhoon that recently passed through. While adjustments were made to the amount of water used to maintain the mound (about a third of what is normally used), it still left things a little soggier/softer than usual. Source: Sports Hochi 6/23/2012
The Hawks are the only team Saito has yet to beat: 0-2 in four starts (18 IP, 21 H, 11 SO, 7 BB, 8 R, 7 ER).
Hideaki Wakui tossed a shutout inning on Friday, his first day back on the active roster.
Said Wakui about the outing, "I was nervous, but the cheering helped take that away. This was an important outing on a lot of different levels."
Source: Sports Hochi 6/23/2012
And Hisanobu Watanabe on Wakui, via Sponichi: "I think Wakui approached this game as usual. The question now is how he handles things with a lead. I plan to continue using [Wakui] in the closer role."
Wakui also had his hair dyed black and cut short. Source: Sponichi 6/23/2012
Chihiro Kaneko complained of tightness in his right elbow during workouts on Friday. He was supposed to start today's game against the Seibu Lions on six days of rest, but was scratched. Source: Sponichi 6/23/2012
Masahiro Tanaka recorded a "double-double" complete game victory on Friday for the first time his career. Double-double as in double-digit strikeouts (10) and double-digit hits allowed (10). Source: Sponichi: 6/23/2012