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Because Monday is “Marine Day,” the national holiday where Japanese are encouraged to enjoy the seaside and many get in over their heads, literally, the Pacific League will begin its weekend series on Saturday instead of Friday.
Perhaps this will encourage more people to go to the ballpark rather than the ocean. In 2016 for example, 10 people were reported to have drowned over the three-day weekend. Unfortunately, World Drowning Awareness Day comes a week later, this year on July 25.
Anyway with a light schedule tomorrow, it’s like Japanese baseball said, “We’ve only got three games on Friday so we’d better get a lot of action in today.
Orix and SoftBank played longball, Nippon Ham is looking very much unlike the team we’ve seen the last three seasons, the Seibu Lions showed some skill at defusing explosive situations, Shogo Akiyama had a hit in Hiroshima, which was three fewer than the Yomiuri Giants managed against Hanshin, and Seiichi Uchikawa was pressed into service, making his debut in his 22nd season as a pro in his first game in the outfield in forever.