Nippon Ham Fighters
Tomohiro Nioka was taken off the active roster today with an injury to his right hamstring. Nioka suffered the injury while running the bases on Monday. Source: Sports Hochi 7/17/2012
The Lions hit a rough bump in their travel plans after Sunday's game in Kobe. They were initially supposed to fly out to Sapporo out of Kansai Airport, but they missed the fight because of heavy traffic. They instead took a plane to Narita, spent the night at a hotel in Tokyo, and flew out to Sapporo at 7:30am on Monday. The team did not arrive at Sapporo Dome until about four hours before game time. Source: Sports Hochi 7/17/2012
Chiba Lotte Marines
The Marines' victory on Monday means the team will finish out the first half of the season in first place. The team has managed to accomplish that on only two other occasions in franchise history: 1960 and 1970.
Lotte is also just the third team in NPB history to finish the first half in first place after a last place finish the year before. The two other teams: the 1964 Hankyu Braves and the 2001 Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.
Source: Sponichi 7/17/2012
Sponichi notes that the reason why Yoshihisa Naruse's hat did not fall off when he pitched on Monday was because of his mechanics -- Naruse does not put his entire body behind every pitch, as Rakuten's Yoshinao Kamata does, and therefore, keeps his head fairly steady throughout his delivery.