baseball

Dragons clinch Central League title

17 Comments
By Steve Trautlein

They didn’t win the battle but they won the war. The Chunichi Dragons clinched first place in the Central League on Tuesday night by rallying for a 3-3, 10-inning tie against the Yokohama BayStars at Yokohama Stadium.

After suffering a weekend sweep at the hands of the Yomiuri Giants, the Dragons entered the game with their fourth consecutive chance at the title. But it looked like more misery was in store when starting pitcher Maximo Nelson dug his team into a 3-0 hole in the fourth inning by giving up back-to-back RBI hits to shortstop Naoto Watanabe and left fielder Yuta Naito.

Dragons first baseman Tony Blanco salvaged the tie in the top of the sixth with one swing of his bat. After singles by right fielder Takehiro Donoue and third baseman Masahiko Morino, Blanco smacked a 2-2 pitch from BayStars starter Futoshi Kobayashi over the wall in right-center for his 16th home run of the year.

Elsewhere in the Central League, Yakult topped Hanshin 4-0. In the Pacific League, Softbank beat Orix 4-1, Seibu beat Nippon Ham 4-3, and Rakuten tied Chiba Lotte 5-5.

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17 Comments
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Clinched with a draw against Yokohama? Bit of an anticlimax. But Chunichi is bar far the inform team in the Central league at the moment.

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good to see,but Softbank truly are the classiest side in Japan...good luck Central League trying to stop them..

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Softbank truly are the classiest side in Japan...good luck Central League trying to stop them.

Softbank will stop themselves as always. They've managed to collapse in the climax series in every recent year. Since the last time they even made the Nippon Series little Lotte with its tiny payroll has managed to WIN two of them.

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Only 1 lousy sentence about SEIBU`S amazing victory to (luckily) steal 3rd place from ORIX??!! Thank you, HAWKS, but I hope you lose now! Calm Down, which team do you like?

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Only 1 lousy sentence about SEIBU`S amazing victory to (luckily) steal 3rd place from ORIX??!!

That's because Seibu is awful, despite their late run. Two decent starting pitchers, a lousy bullpen, and an overweight 3rd baseman hitting half his team's HRs. Nippon Ham will mow them down for sure.

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Ouch,I'm an Orix fan...turn the light out I'm trying to sleep here !!!

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Sorry, CD!! Watching the Lions win at the S Dome, then staying to watch the end of the Orix game on the big screen was awesome. And the look on the Orix Managers face was priceless, but i bet it sucked for Orix fans. BTW, did you notice who was Orixs final out? A little irony there! P, booo!!! Can`r see either team beating SB, but maybe....

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@multi 'BTW, did you notice who was Orixs final out?'..couldnt see anything thru my tears..How did we blow that ?? What the....Hanshin fans dont know the first thing about disappointment...

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They were still playing regular season - it's passed mid-October!

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The season started late because of the March 11 disaster.

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Hanshin fans dont know the first thing about disappointment.

Eh, you would have only been third if you had won anyway.

I predict the Fighters will knock off the Hawks. Hawks haven't played a meaningful game since August, maybe July. Look where that got them last year - now those were tears! Poor Sugiuchi was crying in the dugout as my Lotte celebrated on their field. Hope they lose again!

Fighters/Swallows is about the best case scenario for me at this point.

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Calling the best HR hitter, the King, an "overwheight 3B", really... Learn to appreciate skills and achievements pawatan. The climax series are gonna be exciting, the momentum is clearly on the Giants and Lions side and they have a decent shot at knocking Nippon Ham and Yakult off.

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Eh, you would have only been third if you had won anyway. ...give me a break here,it would have been the 2nd time in the history of the contest that our sad sack of a team made it....Lottes victory should have told you once you're in there weird things can happen..another thing,Yakult ??Wow...Lottes fall from hero to zero has affected your judgement..

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Calling the best HR hitter, the King, an "overwheight 3B", really... Learn to appreciate skills and achievements pawatan.

What skills? He hits HRs, he strikes out a lot, doesn't hit for average, is a way below average fielder especially for his position (led the league in errors!). I suppose he sells a lot of merch and "Okawari-kun" bentos, too, if that can be called a skill. Now Nakajima - that's a great player.

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Calling the best HR hitter, the King, an "overwheight 3B", really... Learn to appreciate skills and achievements pawatan. The climax series are gonna be exciting, the momentum is clearly on the Giants and Lions side and they have a decent shot at knocking Nippon Ham and Yakult off.

Thanks, Clement! Calling him OW is absurd. At least he isnt a juiced up 2nd-rate ex-mlber like many HR hitters. At least you like Nakajima, P. Sadly, hell probably be off to the majors if he can next year. Anyway, the original beef is cuz the media usually focuses on the CL and Giants. Go Lions and Swallows!! PS: I also hate the long break before the playoffs start. Let`s get going!

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Thanks, Clement! Calling him OW is absurd.

WHAT? Of course he's overweight! He's like the poster boy for metabo. I mean his nickname is based on how much food he likes to eat!

Go Lions and Swallows!!

Heh, I actually have the video on my DVR from the end of CS1, game 2 last year when Lotte came from behind again and left the Seibu ouendan crying. It was great - J Sports actually zoomed in on the left field stands and the devastated fans at Seibu Dome for a few minutes while talking about the Miracle Marines and their amazing win. So yeah, go anyone who's not Hawks, Lions, or Giants!!!

I also hate the long break before the playoffs start. Let`s get going!

Not much choice in the matter - CL still has a lot of games left (Hanshin & Carp have 5), and PL has one.

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Hitting HR takes a lot of skills, otherwise every guy above 1m85 would do it. It takes a good eye, fast swing and great power. Okawari-kun has been flirting with 50 for 3 years, he's just a fantastic player and I hope he'll receive the MVP award. He's overweight but so much more than that that is not fair.

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