Pacific League Climax Series, First Stage preview

By Steve Trautlein

Matchup: Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (72-65-7 regular season record; 2nd place in Pacific League) vs. Saitama Seibu Lions (68-67-9; 3rd)

Format: Best of three

What’s at stake: A berth in the Climax Series Final Stage against Pacific League leaders Fukuoka Softbank Hawks

Schedule: Saturday, October 29, 2 p.m.; Sunday, October 30, 2 p.m.; Monday, October 31, 6 p.m. (if necessary)

Venue: Sapporo Dome

Players to watch: Fighters: OF Yoshio Itoi (.314, 11 HR, 54 RBIs); OF Sho Nakata (.237, 18 HR, 91 RBIs); RHP Yu Darvish (18-6, 1.44 ERA); RHP Hisashi Takeda (1.03 ERA, 37 saves). Lions: 3B Takeya Nakamura (.269, 48 HR, 116 RBIs); SS Hiroyuki Nakajima (.297, 16 HR, 100 RBIs); RHP Fumiya Nishiguchi (11-12, 2.46 ERA); RHP Kazuhia Makita (2.61 ERA, 22 saves)

Notes: The Fighters won the season series 12-11-1 … The Lions’ final winning percentage, .5037, was just one-thousandth of a point ahead of the fourth place Orix Buffaloes, who finished the season 69-68-7 … The Fighters are making their third postseason appearance in four years … The Lions lost in the First Stage of the 2010 Climax Series to the Chiba Lotte Marines … Nakamura led the Pacific League in home runs, RBI’s, runs (97) and walks (79), and he tied with the Fighters’ Daikan Yoh for the lead in strikeouts, with 134 … Darvish led the Pacific League in strikeouts (276) and innings pitched (232), and his ERA was second to the Rakuten Eagles’ Masahiro Tanaka (1.27) … Takeda led the league in saves.

© Japan Today

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i'm coming to a climax just thinking about the series...NOT!

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Fighters will win this. Seibu played way over their heads just to get in. Nippon Ham is the much classier side, and has been all year.

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i cant decide which i like better, ham or department store???

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Oh, I heard a fat guy plays for the Lions, so I guess they`ll lose))))))

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Anyone know if these games are on TV?

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Anyone know if these games are on TV?

NHK BS1 for both games. JSports as well, I think.

Oh, I heard a fat guy plays for the Lions, so I guess they`ll lose

No, just because they are a very bad team that shouldn't be in the CS at all.

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Au contraire, mon frere! Couldnt watch the game, cuz I was working AND Jsports was showing game 7 at the same time BS was showing it, (so I recorded that instead,) but I was at a rest. to see bottom of the 11th and heros interview with Jose. Go Lions!

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Lions and Swallows win!! Great... love it when Giants lose!

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Sunday`s game is on Gaora, btw.

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Lions and Swallows win!! Great... love it when Giants lose!

I was at the Swallows game. Good stuff! Pity the Fighters are still using Takeda as closer, he showed in 2009 that he can't handle the playoff pressure.

Still, Fighters and Swallows will win tomorrow.

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The Lions, Ham Fighters, and Giants Swallow

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