We had baseball on Monday this week. I didn’t report on it but we had baseball. From those games, you should know: 1) the Yomiuri Giants became the first Japanese major league team to surrender grand slams in four consecutive games, 2) they still handed the Yakult Swallows their sixth straight loss and their eighth out of nine, 3) the Seibu Lions took over first place in the Pacific League, and 4) the Nippon Ham Fighters became the latest team to suffer a raft of infections, with manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo among those in quarantine.
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Tuesday, two days after Tokyo reported a coronavirus positivity rate of nearly 50 percent, I saw a line waiting to get into a free PCR testing site near the station next to mine. I’ve passed by there once or twice a week for the past four months, and this was the first time they didn’t have staff standing in front urging people to come in and get tested.
The big news Tuesday was not baseball, even Shohei Ohtani bowing out of pitching in the All-Star game, but the retirement of figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu. That had been looming since yesterday but after a hard Sunday, I kind of shutdown on Monday, so I’m just sort of restarting before my day job picks up again on Wednesday.
The pennant race projections are back for the first time in a while, so check it out, and if they hold up, people are going to have to check out the Pacific League’s tie-breaking format.
Tigers 3, Carp 0: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Aaron Wilkerson (5-4) pitched out of just one tough inning as he struck out seven over 5-2/3 innings. Fumiya Hojo drew a two-out walk in the second and scored the first run on a Ryutaro Umeno single off Carp starter Hiroki Tokoda (8-6).
Takamu Nakano singled to lead off the third and scored, before Hojo doubled in Teruaki Sato in the sixth. Suguru Iwazaki earned his 20th save as the Tigers edged past the Giants into fourth place.
The win was the Tigers’ second against the Carp this season, and their first in Hiroshima.Continue reading NPB news: July 19, 2022