Fighters Leave 19 Men on Base; Otani Returns to Lineup

The Nippon Ham Fighters lost a game to the Rakuten Eagles. During the game they collected 9 hits, walked 12 times and had three batters hit by pitch. You would have suspected they would have lost this game in a slug fest. They actually lost the game 3-0, stranding 19 runners on base, breaking a Pacific League record for stranding runners and tying an NPB record. The Yokohama Bay Stars had stranded 19 runners in a game in 2014.

Shohei Otani was a perfect 2 for 2, hitting a single and double with a hit by pitch and a walk. The Fighters loaded the bases in the first, third, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. In the first, third and eighth there was only one out. A line drive and strikeout ended the first and a popup and strikeout ended the third. In the eighth they grounded into a double play.

It was good to see Otani back in the lineup after he was removed from an earlier game because of calf tightness. His fragility has myworld concerned whether he can survive as a two way player in the major leagues. This year he has encountered a number of injuries while playing the field that has limited his ability to pitch.

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