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As this season has shown on repeated occasions, Hanshin are becoming famous for their inconsistency. One week we are losing a series to Yokohama, the next we are beating Yomiuri. Part of the reason for this is the unreliability of some of our starting pitchers. Another reason is own manager’s tendency to make bizarre, and sometimes downright stupid, decisions.

Having said this, we should not overlook what a fantastic season this is turning out to be for the Tigers. We play attacking baseball,  but today’s 1-0 victory over Kyojin was most promising because of our defensive solidity. We have 4 top-class pitchers on our books-  Standridge, Nohmi, Kubo and Akiyama (yes I know Akiyama is young, but he’s looked impressive enough to warrant inclusion in this list). We have an excellent catcher, and an excellent backup (who really needs to be nurtured and not ignored, as Mayumi has this season). We also have the Big 6 hitters – Brazell, Arai, Toritani, Johjima, Murton and Hirano. This leaves two places free for a rotation of up-and-coming young hitters, including Asai, Sakurai and Lin. We have all the makings of a number 1 team for the next couple of seasons. And we are on the brink of victory this season. Let’s just hope we can hold on, and continue to get great results in these two critical series against the Giants and the Dragons.

Come on Hanshin!!