The Pacific League-leading Seibu Lions began a three-game series at home against the second-place SoftBank Hawks, while the Hanshin Tigers, who tumbled out of second place in the Central League with six straight losses, sent their best pitcher, Koyo Aoyagi against the league-leading Yakult Swallows, who had managed just six hits off him in his two games against them this year, both shutouts.
Let’s get to the games shall we?
Lions 2, Hawks 0: At Seibu Dome, Kona Takahashi (7-7) worked six innings, and a pair of good swings put the Lions ahead in the fourth inning against Shuta Ishikawa (4-7). Sosuke Genda singled to lead off the inning and Tomoya Mori met a flat 1-1 fastball that ran right onto his barrel and drove it well back in right field for his fifth home run.
Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 16, 2022
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There were five games in Japan on Saturday, but the big news was once more public health.
A month and a half ago, the government pushed to allow non-resident foreign nationals to travel to Japan in order to give the economy a boost. In order to make that palatable, the government, without any reasoning based on research, said “don’t worry about wearing masks outdoors,” and so little by little people have stopped doing so, and more and more people are going unmasked indoors and on trains.
And low and behold, Japan reported more than 110,000 new positive test results for the first time on Saturday.
Three teams are currently struggling with infection-related absences, with most of the Yakult Swallows’ first team currently in isolation, while the Seibu Lions are slightly better off and the SoftBank Hawks are beginning to get most of their players back. This is going to be a tough pennant race for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball.
Fighters 1, Lions 0: At Sapporo Dome, the duel between Nippon Ham’s best pitcher, Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-5), and Seibu’s best, Kona Takahashi (6-7), went according to form, with the Fighters winning their seventh straight and keeping the Lions from taking over first place with the Hawks and Marines idled by rain in Chiba.
Continue reading NPB news: July 16, 2022