We had news of Roki Sasaki Friday, when we learned that the Yomiuri Giants have produced a note from their mother asking for special treatment, doubleheaders might be back, and there were all-star games during the week. And then we had real baseball on Friday.
A pretty busy day, so let’s get to it!
I woke up after Japan’s All-Star games put me to sleep for a couple of days. During the week, the PL won both games with solo homers by two different players, ostensibly with the same bat.
Chunichi 2, DeNA 1, Lotte 1, Nippon Ham 1. Those are not runs but suspected cases of COVID-19 from their major league rosters. Among those were DeNA’s two-time home run champ, Neftali Soto, and Nippon Ham’s all-star third baseman Yuki James Nomura, who has been exhibiting symptoms but had yet to test positive.
They were dwarfed by the Yomiuri Giants’ toll in recent days. The team reported a total of 38 new infections, including coaches and staff, on Wednesday night, including a large chunk of their starting roster and ace pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano.
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On Thursday, the Giants announced they had suspended baseball activities after 41 players within the organization had tested positive in the past three days.
NPB also announced that it’s next commissioner will be 79-year-old Sadayuki Sakakibara, the former chairman of the Japan Business Federation and that he’ll replace the outgoing Atsushi Saito in November in one of Japan’s least important jobs.
Pacific League TV is again making things difficult, so no highlights tonight.
Buffaloes 4, Fighters 3: At Osaka Dome, Masataka Yoshida tied it with his second home run in two nights, a two-run sixth-inning shot off Cody Ponce (1-2). Yutaro Sugimoto singled, Joe McCarthy doubled and both scored on a ground ball to third, and an error by reserve infielder Takuya Kori, whose first career homer had put the Fighters up 2-0 in the fifth.
Marines 5, Lions 4: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Hiromi Oka singled in two runs in the ninth to tie it and Akito Takabe singled in the winning run as Kaima Taira (1-3), standing in for closer Taishi Masuda, blew a 4-2 lead.