Hirokazu Ibata left tonight's game on defense, partway through the 1st inning, with discomfort in his right knee. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/18/2012
Sponichi notes that Ibata banged the knee up during a close play at home plate against the Yomiuri Giants on July 15. And the reason why he made the starting line-up today was because of the upcoming All-Star break. Had there been no break, Ibata most likely would have been benched after the Yomiuri series for rest. The team is hopefully he will be ready in time for the start of the second-half on July 25.
Yoshiyuki Kamei, who was taken off the active roster on July 7 with a sprain near the base of his left thumb, told reporters today that he still feels some discomfort after he hits the ball or puts on a glove. Source: Nikkan Sports 7/18/2012
The Carp finished the first half of the season within the top three for the first time since 1997. Source: Sports Hochi 7/18/2012