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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yoshimi leads charge as Dragons even Japan Series at 3-all

Kazuki Yoshimi won his much-anticipated matchup against Tsuyoshi Wada, Kazuhiro Wada had a two-run triple and the Chunichi Dragons held off the Softbank Hawks in a 2-1 victory to even the best-of-seven Japan Series at three games apiece on Saturday.

The Hawks were just one win away from clinching their first championship title in eight years, but the Dragons dug deep in their energy reserves to force a Game 7 on Sunday night at Yahoo Dome.

“Tomorrow will be the last game of 2011. I had a feeling that the series would go this way. It’s not like I have supernatural powers, but I can tell that my players have a relaxed mindset,” said outgoing manager Hiromitsu Ochiai. “I think that Yoshimi probably was more relaxed in this outing than in his previous start here (in Game 2).”

Game 7 across the Pacific as well.

Gamingboy Posted: November 20, 2011 at 06:33 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan

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   1. Tripon Posted: November 20, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3997956)
What the hell?
   2. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: November 20, 2011 at 08:07 PM (#3997980)
The Hawks were just one win away from clinching their first championship title in eight years, but the Dragons dug deep in their energy reserves to force a Game 7

Things sound cooler when they're more Ichiro-like.
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 20, 2011 at 08:34 PM (#3997990)
Softbank Hawks came back to win Game 7, 3-0.

A few notes on game 6:

1. This was the fourth 2-1 final score of the series, which is appropriate in NPB's year of the dead ball era.

2. "Masahiro Araki got the game off to a promising start with a leadoff single in the first inning and moved to second on Hirokazu Ibata's sacrifice bunt." Speaking of the dead ball era, the first inning sacrifice bunt is alive and well in NPB.

3. "Pinch-hitter Alex Cabrera then singled and Yoshimi was pulled for all-time saves leader Hitoki Iwase, who recorded the final out of the inning when pinch-runner Shuhei Fukuda was called out trying to steal second base." Now a part-time player, Alex Cabrera has had one heck of a career in Japan. He's hit 356 homers over 11 seasons, including tying Sahaharu Oh's record of 55 in one season in 2002.

4. "Iwase returned for the ninth and got the first two outs before Ochiai let Takuya Asao finish off to post the save." Iwase is Japan's all-time save leader. He had 37 this year, second in NPB. Yet in the ninth inning, he got the first two outs and was then pulled for his set-up man, who had 45 holds, to finish off the save. It's like pulling Mariano Rivera with two outs inthe ninth. How many MLB managers would do that in the World Series? Asao's stats this year are eye popping - 0.41 ERA in 87 innings, 57 hits, 15 BB, 100 K. Year of the pitcher indeed.

5. From Iwase's BR Bullpen page - "He picked his uniform number of 13 because it represents a deity of death in Tarot." Now that's intimidating...
   4. JoeHova Posted: November 20, 2011 at 08:35 PM (#3997991)
Yoshimi battles the yellow Hawks.
   5. Fat Al Posted: November 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM (#3998070)
Thanks JoeHova. I was just going to say how this demanded a Flaming Lips reference.
   6. RMc is organizationalwide! Posted: November 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM (#3998357)
Am I the only one who thought, "What? They're still playing in Japan?"

How come these games aren't shown in the US? You'd think MLB Net would be interested...
   7. Bourbon Samurai Posted: November 21, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3998369)
I was just gonna say i wish these were on mlb network. They show the Caribbean series sometimes.
   8. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 21, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3998872)
Am I the only one who thought, "What? They're still playing in Japan?"

Because of the damage caused by the earthquake last March, the start of the Japanese baseball season was delayed, meaning that the playoffs started much later than in a normal season.

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