The Yakult Swallows will play six games at Jingu Stadium -- three against the Hiroshima Carp (September 10-12) and three against the Hanshin Tigers (September 13-15).
Both the Carp and Tigers are planning to pitch to Wladimir Balentien, but have left open the option to walk him if necessary.
"In tight situations, we may avoid pitching to him," said Hiroshima manager Kenjiro Nomura.
Pitching coach Yasuyuki Yamauchi added, "Depending on the situation, we may avoid pitching to him even when there are no runners on base."
Today's starting pitcher Kenta Maeda was asked about his approach and replied, "I do not plan on making any special changes to the way I pitch because of where we are right now. I am not worried [about the home run I gave up to him in June]."
He continued, "He bats clean-up so he will have chances to hit with runners in scoring position. I cannot give up any hits in these kinds of situations. ... There are not too many more games left to go. I would like to pitch well according to each situation."
Hanshin Tigers' pitching coach Kiyooki Nakanishi had similar things to say.
"If first base is open, we might go with an intentional walk, but otherwise we plan on pitching to him," said Nakanishi. "He is at fifty-three right now... The pitchers will try to get him out. They will not avoid him. We will not do anything to kill the excitement."
Balentien is quoted by Nikkan Sports as saying he wants to tie the record tonight with two home runs against the Hiroshima Carp.