Monday Bullets #17 (Post-Hiatus Edition)

Monday Bullets is a feature in which Tsubamegun writers (mostly Kozo) gather random news, thoughts, images, movies, etc. during the week and publish them for off day consumption.

I am back from vacation and I’m eager to restart this feature. This week we’ll take a look at the new Interleague schedule that will take effect stating next season, ogle some eye popping stats, and go through the usual roster and injury updates.

  • The CL and PL “settled” their differences and the CL got their way about Interleague. Starting next season, the Interleague schedule will be reduced from 24 games to 18 games. That means teams will play 3 game series against each team in the opposite league. Instead of 2 games each home and away each season, teams will play a single 3 game series that alternate home and away between seasons. To bridge the gap between games each team will play one more game with each team in their own league meaning each team will play each other team in their league 25 times not 24 times. That means the NPB regular season will be reduced by one game to 143 games total. While the overall impact is minimal, and it’s probably not worth fighting about, I do not like the asymmetrical nature of this new schedule.
  • The Swallows started August super hot going 6-1 in their first seven games. They’ve gone 2-5 int their next seven games. In those first seven games hit more home runs in  (19) than they did in 22 games in July (15). The Swallows also scored more runs in those games (73) than they did in all of July (72).
  • Shingo Kawabata tied a club record with nine straight games with an RBI. Kawabata’s streak ran from August 3 to August 13.
  • Tetsuto Yamada has also been red hot in August hitting .429 with 6 home runs and 16 RBIs. Those numbers are improvements from already great numbers posted in the previous months of the season. Looking at a run down of Yamada’s season numbers are will make your jaw drop. .340 BA (2nd in CL), 146 H (1st), 34 2B (1st), 22 HRs (3rd), 248 TB (1st), 69 RBIs (3rd), 83 R (1st), 56 BB (4th), .421 OBP (2nd), and .578 SLG% (2nd). These are not numbers typically associated with a leadoff second baseman. Yamada has a shot at being the first player in NPB history to record 200 hits and 30 home runs in a single season.
  • Coco Balentien has alos gotton back on track hitting .451 with 6 homers so far in August. The current CL home run leader Brad Eldred of the Carp got sent down to the minors after a super ineffective start to August (just 2 hits in 10 August games with 23 Ks). Coco is currently 7 homeruns behind Eldred (33 to 26), but Eldred’s demotion means Coco may yet defend his home run crown.
  • Way too many roster moves have happened since our last update. The biggest shock is no doubt Yagi’s demotion after pulling a muscle that’ll keep him out of action for 6-8 weeks. Ishiyama got demoted for Narveson right after earning his first win as a starter. Tetsuya Yamamoto is back after Nagisa Arakaki failed to impress in his two starts.
  • The Swallows’ first round pick in the 2013 draft Toshihiro Sugiura recorded his first pro win with the farm team on Wednesday. I’ll bet money that Sugiura will make a top team appearance within a month.
  • Followers or Orlando Roman on Twitter (@oryec34) will know that he is throwing baseball again.
  • Tomorrow’s game versus the Giants at Jingu will be Tsutomu Wakamatsu Legend Day. The first 15,000 fans at the stadium will receive a commemorative photo and there will be pre-game festivities looking back on Wakamatsu’s career.
  • This week’s photo is a reminder that Tateyama is still alive.

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About Kozo Ota

Kozo Ota is a third-generation Swallows fan that grew up on Montreal Expos baseball. (You can read more about that here.) When he's not at Jingu, he works as a freelance translator/interpreter to make enough money to go to Jingu. You can find random posts by Kozo on Google+ and Twitter.