Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week in Review: May 14 - May 20

Interleague play began this week with the Marines and Lions visiting the Nagoya Dome.  Chunichi lost their first game against Lotte, then were unable to hold a 9th inning lead in the second game and had to settle for a 3-3 tie.  The Dragons swept their 2-game series with Seibu behind a strong pitching performance by Soma Yamauchi in the first game and a huge 8th inning rally, led by Wada's 2 RBI triple, in the second game.  Another solid week for the Dragons, keeping them in first place.

  • Masahiko Morino returned from injury this week and was 5 for 15, 5 for is first 11 prior to Sunday's 0-fer.
  • Maximo Nelson returned from injury as well and pitched a scoreless inning in relief against the Marines, it was reported that he may return to the rotation soon.
  • There were reports this week that Masa Yamamoto needed to have a good performance in his scheduled Sunday start in order to keep his spot in the rotation after getting rocked for 5 ER over 2 innings last week.  He responsed with a solid start, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB over 6 innings and likely has earned himself another start or two at least.
  • Takuya Asao, has been taken off of the active roster because of recent "struggles."  Doesn't sound like he has an injury, but is being given some time to rest.  If anyone deserves a rest it would be Asao, he's one of the most used (overused) pitchers in the NPB, he appeared in 79 games last year and has pitched in 21 of 42 games so far this year.  I don't really think this roster move was neccessary, he hasn't been as unhittable this year as last year, but he has still gotten the job done more often than not.  Takagi just needs to give him a few more days off over the course of the season and with Tajima and Sosa in the bullpen as well, Chunichi now has other 8th inning pitching options.
  • The Dragons plan to use Takeshi Yamasaki as the DH during inter-league games at Pacific League stadiums.
  • Kazuki Yoshimi is working his way back from injury and could pitch in a ni-gun game next week.
  • Ryosuke Hirata was taken off of the active roster Sunday with back pain.
  • Yohei Oshima has been hitting well of late.  His totals for the season so far are .303 BA, .383 OBP, 15 BB, 12 extra-base hits.  Very good numbers for a lead-off hitter, especially one with the speed and glove he has.  He's a guy I thought would break out last year, that didn't really happen, but this year may be the year it does. 

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