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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