F**king Giants, Grrrrrrrr
It all finished last night. While I was knocking back gin and tonics in Hongdae, Hanshin Tigers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, losing 4-3 to the Yokohama Baystars. At the same time the Yomiuri Giants snook past the Yakult Swallows 3-1, and in doing so heart-breakingly clinched the Central League Pennant Crown with the biggest comeback in Japanese baseball history. At one point Kyojin (the Giants) were a massive FIFTEEN games behind the Tigers, but a collosal reversal in Tiger form over the summer, combined with the Giants steady progress at chipping away their lead, meant they could complete the comeback.
Why did the Tigers falter so badly over the summer? What now for Okada and his team? And how will I survive without Japanese baseball for the first time since I fell in love with it last year? So many questions, so few answers.
But fear not people- for now postseason starts!
Postseason- The Playoffs (Climax Series) and The Nippon Series
As I may have explained, Japanese baseball is divided into two leagues- the Central and the Pacific. What happens now is that there are playoffs to decide which one team from each league will enter the Nippon Series.
The Central League playoffs are thus:
PLAYOFF SEMI FINAL– Hanshin Tigers (2nd place in league) vs Chunichi Dragons (3rd place), over 3 games (next weekend, Sat Sun and Mon)
PLAYOFF FINAL– Winner of Semi vs Yomiuri Giants (1st place in league), over 5 games (Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun)
The winner of these will take on the winner of the Pacific League playoff in the Nippon Series, a run of 7 games. This gives me another couple of weeks of baseball fun, interspersed with carrying on with real life (not staring at a computer screen).
The Pacific League playoffs, just for compeletedness, are the Orix Buffaloes vs the Nippon Ham Fighters (yes, they’re sponsored by a ham company), with the winner taking on the Seibu Lions.
Ok folks thats all for now! If you want an mp3 file of the Hanshin Tigers signature tune Rokko Oroshi, then please email me! You can request the orchestral version, the regular version or the lone trumpet version for when you’re feeling sad and blue.