The two regular-season champions in each league – the Yomiuri Giants (Central) and the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (Pacific) – will face each other in this year’s Japan Series (aka Nippon Series, 日本シリーズ). The first two games of this 7-game series will be played in Hokkaido’s Sapporo Dome, the next three at Yomiuri’s Tokyo Dome, and the final two back at the Sapporo Dome.
Japan Series schedule
Gm 1: Oct. 31 – Yomiuri at Nippon-Ham
Gm 2: Nov. 1 – Yomiuri at Nippon-Ham
Gm 3: Nov. 3 – Nippon-Ham at Yomiuri
Gm 4: Nov. 4 – Nippon-Ham at Yomiuri
Gm 5: Nov. 5 – Nippon-Ham at Yomiuri (if necessary)
Gm 6: Nov. 7 – Yomiuri at Nippon-Ham (if necessary)
Gm 7: Nov. 8 – Yomiuri at Nippon-Ham (if necessary)
This is Hokkaido’s fifth trip to the Japan Series – they previously went in 1962 (as the Toei Flyers), 1981, 2006 and 2007 and won twice (1962 & 2006). In comparison, Yomiuri has participated in the Series on 31 previous occasions – the latest was in 2008, where they lost to the Saitama Seibu Lions in seven – and have won 20 championships (last one in 2002). In this way, the Yomiuri Giants are kind of like the New York Yankees (MLB), who have won 26 World Series and will play in its 40th Series – this time against the defending champion Philadelphia Phillies.
The Giants and Fighters played four games against each other during the regular season and split the season series 2-2. The two franchises have also previously faced off in the Japan Series: in 1981, the Giants defeated the Fighters 4 games to 2 with righthanded pitcher Takashi Nishimoto earning MVP honors.
Like always, a few videos:
The pennant-clinching out for the Giants in their 8-2 win as Marc Kroon gets Motonobu Tanishige to line out to third. That’s manager Tatsunori Hara being interviewed after the game.
Highlights from Nippon Ham’s 9-4 series finisher over Rakuten, including Terrmel Sledge’s 3-run homer in the 8th. He had 10 RBI in the series: five in both games 1 and 4.