It all seems a bit strange. Kanemoto's inability to go with his performing catcher and then suddenly he does. Now he's back to messing around with catchers again. It was nice to see Tsuruoka brought up at last and Okazaki finally dispatched to the farm team. Haraguchi took over permanent catching duties and also continued to hit out. However, Kanemoto has now come up with the idea that certain pitchers should have Sakamoto as their catcher. The problem with this is that to play Haraguchi he needs to move the latter to first. This means no place for his by far No. 1 RBI batter Gomez. It's not so important in the current BayStars series as we are looking at ichi gun v ni gun but otherwise it's a serious issue.
Tigers entered shi-no-rodo with probably no expectations of doing well. Only Okada was really able to push the team over the psychological hump. They narrowly lost the series to Swallows and also to Carp. Game totals were 4-2 over the 2 series. The Dragons series redeemed this with a 3-0 sweep. Another short two game series saw Tigers lose to Carp before the Giants series in which the batting failed. However, Tigers did take the final game with some superb work by Haraguchi. The first two games of the BayStars series have seen Gomez benched but with batting by others Tigers haven't had to worry which is good because Sakamoto has been crap as a catcher.
On batting Gomez is the top scoring RBI batter with 72 runs driven in. Next is Fukudome with 44, Takayama (who is about the only real find of Kanemoto's experiments) with 43 and Haraguchi with 42. Kanemoto still hasn't realised that his three, four, five, six needs to be Fukudome, Gomez, Haraguchi, Takayama and that he needs to build his side around this core. Tigers now actually have a chance of moving into third place and a Climax League playoff spot which is one place higher than I predicted. However, it needs good management given their pathetic relief pitching.