While the Major League playoffs are well underway in the US, the Japanese majors recently began their postseason play. The first stage had the Chunichi Dragons beating the Tokyo Yakult Swallows 2 games to 1 in the Central League and the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks (last year’s Japan Series winner) defeating the Saitama Seibu Lions 2-1 in the Pacific League.
Chunichi will face the Yomiuri Giants while SoftBank will play the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Both series start Wednesday with the Giants and Fighters beginning with a 1-0 advantage as a reward for winning their respective regular-season titles.
Let’s look at some highlights from the 1st stage of games:
Hawks outfielder/DH and former MLB-er Wily Mo Pena lines a 2-RBI single to left field in the 4th inning of Game 3 - Softbank won 3-2. Pena hit .280 with 21 HR & 76 RBI during the regular season. [YouTube]
Finally, even though this wasn’t in the postseason, I wanted to mention Yuki Nishi’s no-hitter on the last day of the season. The Orix Buffaloes righthander gave up only one walk and struck out nine. Unfortunately, Orix finished last in the Pacific League with a 55-77-10 (win-loss-tie) record.