According to some news articles Takagi was very frustrated with the starting pitchers in the Yomiuri series, Yamauchi in particular. Nakata was pulled after 4 innings in the first game, though he only gave up 2 runs. Ogasawara incredibly lasted 6 innings in the second game after giving up 4 runs without recording an out in the 1st inning. In the third game Yamauchi couldn't find his control walking 4 in 1+ inning, giving up 3 runs, but only 1 hit. It was Yamauchi's second bad outing in a row and Takagi's comments made it sound like he may be considering other options in the rotation. While I agree that, fortunately, Chunichi does have a lot of starting pitching options there is no doubt that Yamauchi should remain in the rotation. I was surprised that, after sticking with Ogasawara on Saturday, he didn't allow Yamauchi to work through his control issues in Sunday. Yamauchi has been one of Chunichi's best starters up until his last couple starts and deserves more confidence from his manager than he's getting.
If I were the manager; the rotation would be Yoshimi, Yamauchi, Iwata, Nakata, Kawai and I would replace Ogasawara with Soto. Soto is a lefty as well as Ogasawara and is a clear upgrade, the bullpen has plenty of talent, they don't need Soto down there. When Kawakami is ready I would probably let him take Kawai or Iwata's spot.
Chunichi will remain in Tokyo for their next series, this time against the Swallows, and hopefully the results will be better, Yoshimi will be starting the first game and that should help.
- Kazuki Yoshimi had another brilliant start against Hanshin and looks to be back at full strength.
- Takuya Asao pitched in a ni-gun game and may be ready for the second half of the season.
- The following players were named to the All-Star team: Hitoki Iwase, Motonobu Tanishige, Tony Blanco, Masahiro Araki, Kasuhiro Wada, Yohei Ohshima