In the past week, Yomiuri clinched its 3rd straight Central League regular season title on Wednesday, putting Chunichi securely in 2nd place. (The Giants also had a 10-game winning streak end when they lost 10-1 loss to Chunichi on Monday.) Third place is being fought over by Yakult, Hanshin, and even Hiroshima. In the Pacific League, leader Nippon-Ham is close to clinching a playoff spot and in position for the league title while Softbank & Rakuten are neck-and-neck in 2nd and 3rd. Seibu has an chance at advancing, currently four behind Rakuten.
Segment on a morning show the day after where a guy talks with many of the players.
While in Pittsburgh for the G-20 summit, Japanese PM Hatoyama threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Pirates game (9/25) and also received #18 jerseys from both the Pirates and the Dodgers. That number was worn by Masumi Kuwata, who briefly played for the Pirates in 2007, and also by current Dodgers pitcher Yosuke Kuroda. [Japanball]
On Sept. 22nd, Swallows pitcher Hiromitsu Takagi threw his first career shutout, blanking Hiroshima 3-0. He only allowed four hits while striking out five and no walked batters. Above is his hero interview. [boxscore]
Scoreboard video at Seibu Dome of various people saying “GO CLIMAX” before Seibu’s Sept. 27 game against Rakuten. Climax, of course, refers to the Climax Series – not what some of you may have been thinking. The Lions lost that game, 11-4, but are still in playoff contention. After Monday night’s games, they are 4 games behind Rakuten for 3rd place with 8 left to play for Seibu and 11 left for Rakuten.
During the Sept. 27th Dragons-Tigers game, there was a ceremony for Kazuki Inoue, who had been with the team since 1991 (20 years if you count from his 1989 drafting) and announced his retirement this season. Here is Part 1 of 2.
Part 2 of 2. Saying farewell to the fans is often a sad occasion and Inoue’s address to those in the Nagoya Dome was no different. さよなら 井上一樹!
Since Yomiuri clinched their league pennant this week, this week’s look back at the past is from the Giants’ 1994 championship season. This video ends with them clinching the regular season league title against Chunichi – they would end up beating Seibu 4-2 in the Japan Series. You can see now-NY Yankee Hideki Matsui hit a few home runs.