Uehara Starting Pitcher???
Reports today from Sanspo are speculating that Koji Uehara may have been giving the nod as starting pitcher for the Giants tonight against the SoftBank Hawks, as he was called over to Manager Hara for a 2 minute conference. Uehara appeared to be preparing himself early for the game with a warmup and stretching routine that would lend credence to the theory. I will keep my eyes on this game tonight and provide a recap for you in the event that he in fact has returned as a starter.
In his last outing, Uehara struck out 2 of 3 batters, working a 1-2-3 for his 9th save of the season and now sports an 18-2 K/BB ratio. It makes sense to get him back into the rotation and send one of the back end guys back to the pen. Big move.
UPDATE: Uehara isn't starting tonight. It will be Takahashi taking on SoftBank's Sugiuchi. That doesn't mean that Uehara won't get one of the starts against the Hawks though. I'll keep checking this weekend to update you when we know more.
UPDATE2: Uehara entered the game in the bottom of the 9th to save a 3-2 contest. The Giants scored 3 runs in the top of the 8th only to see the Hawks punch back in the bottom of the frame with 2 of their own. In the bottom of the 9th Uehara jammed Mitsuru Honma and got him to pop out to 3rd. He then got Nobuhiro Matsuda to bounce out to short, and ended the game with his 10th save by getting Japan's premier shortstop Munenori Kawakami to fly out to center. Outstanding again. You have to wonder if this appearance kills any chance of seeing Uehara start a game this week.