Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Week in Review: July 2 - July 8

It has been a tale of two Dragons teams lately, a good team at the Nagoya Dome and a bad one anywhere else.  That pattern continued this week.  The week began, mercifully, with a rainout of the first game of a three game series at Jingu Stadium against Yakult.  The Swallows went on to pound the Dragons in the two following contests, scoring 12 runs in each of the two games. 
Then the Dragons returned home and returned to playing some winning baseball with a sweep of the Baystars.  Obviously, Yokohama is a team that Chunichi should be beating, but two of the wins didn't come easily.  Both Friday's and Sunday's games required 10th inning sayonara hits.  Wada provided a walkoff home run for a 1-0 victory on Friday and Atsushi Fujii came through with a game-winning base hit on Sunday.  With the sweep the Dragons are now an unbeaten, 14-0-3, in their last 17 at the Nagoya Dome.  Meanwhile, they have lost 5 in a row on the road and have lost 11 of their last 13 true away games. 
They now play nine straight games leading up the All-Star Break, 3 in Osaka against Hanshin, 3 at home against Yomiuri and 3 at Hiroshima before the six day break.  Here are some notes from the week:
  • Tough news as Tony Blanco's hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch in one of the weekend games.  His hand has been placed in a cast and it sounds like he will be out for an extended period of time, potentially several months.  Masahiko Morino will likely be getting a majority of the playing time at 1B with Naomichi Donoue and Shuhei Takahashi filling in at third.
  • Masa Yamamoto and Kenshin Kawakami are now back with the ichi-gun team.
  • Shinji Tajima returned to ichi-gun from his injury and pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday.
  • Soma Yamauchi returned to form Sunday, pitching seven innings giving up one earned run and five hits.  It should be taken into consideration that it was against the Baystars, but still I think he's back on track and easily could have been named an All-Star this year.

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