Shota Takeda is the third rookie out of high school to pitch in a playoff or Climax Series games. Of the three, Takeda is the only one that made his appearance as a starter.
There have been five rookie pitchers out of high school in NPB history that started Nippon Series games: Taisei Nakamura (1953; Gm 2 = Loss); Kazuhisa Inao (1956; Gm 2 = Loss; Gm 6 = Win); Tsuneo Horiuchi (1966; Gm 2 = Loss); Kazuhisa Ishii (1992; Gm 3 = Loss); and Mitsuo Yoshikawa (2007; Gm 4 = Loss). Takeda is the sixth pitcher to start a post-season game and the fourth straight to suffer a loss.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2012
Nippon Ham Fighters
According to a Sanspo report filed at 5am this morning, Yuki Saito was not included in the list of fourteen pitchers (eleven will be on the active roster) returning to Sapporo Dome on Monday, which means he most likely will not be participating in the Final Stage of the Climax Series. Source: Sanspo 10/15/2012
A Nikkan Sports filed about five hours later mentions that Hideki Kuriyama could use Saito out of the bullpen, especially if the series goes to four, five, or six games and the bullpen runs a little thin. As of now, it seems he is scheduled to rejoin the team in Sapporo after his Phoenix League start against Hanshin on Tuesday. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2012
Hisashi Takeda threw twenty-eight pitches in the bullpen on Sunday. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/15/2012
According to Sanspo, the Swallows were originally planning to go Shohei Tateyama, Masanori Ishikawa, and Kyohei Muranaka, but decided to swap the first two pitchers because they were concerned about Tateyama's right elbow (fatigue) and wanted to give him an extra day of rest. Source: Sanspo 10/15/2012
Wladimir Balentien homered in his second straight game on Sunday and became the first Swallow to do that during the post-season since Mitsuru Manaka during the 2001 Nippon Series.
Balentien's family left Japan after the regular season.
Source: Sanspo 10/15/2012
The Swallows beat the Chunichi Dragons 1-0 on Sunday using four different pitchers. There have been five playoff/Climax Series games that ended in 1-0 scores and Sunday's game was the first in CL history. Including the Nippon Series, eighteen. The breakdown on the numbers of pitchers used in those eighteen games: ten complete games; two pitchers in five games; three pitchers in one game; and four pitchers in two games.
Balentien also became just the second player in playoff/Climax Series history (or sixth if you include the entire post-season like the Nippon Series) to hit a decisive home run in a 1-0 game. The other player was Junichi Kashiwabara in 1981.
Tetsuya Utsumi will most likely get start Game 1 of the Final Stage of the Climax Series. Source: Sanspo 10/15/2012
Yoshinobu Takahashi could end up batting fifth during the Final Stage of the Climax Series. He has gone 5-for-9 in three games since the end of the regular season. Source: Daily Sports 10/15/2012, Sponichi 10/15/2012
Yoshiyuki Kamei most likely won a spot on the Final Stage roster. Source: Sponichi 10/15/2012