Santana blast tilts Japan Series balance in Swallows' favor


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Japan Today hasn't even reported Game 4, and now Game 5.

Great pitching duel in Game 4 to give Yakult the 3 games to 1 lead. Then a dramatic series of home runs late in Game 5 to allow Orix to claw back to a 3-to-2 deficit. Let's call MacGough "macCough" for coughing up two losses. Without him, Yakult has already won this series.

Now back to Hotto Motto stadium tomorrow night!

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Why are they playing in the Tokyo Dome rather than their home field?

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@T-O-W, it often helps to have a former pitcher as the director ("manager"), because they can provide better coaching and inspiration to young pitchers than just the pitching coaches and bullpen coaches are able to do. Watching game 4 right now. Go Tsubame!

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The evolution of the Swallows' starting pitching has been a major factor of their turnaround this year. Takahashi pitched a complete game shutout on Sunday, and Okugawa and Ogawa were solid in their starts during this series. That's been huge for Yakult. It's been years since they could have any confidence at all in their starters. Whether the bullpen can keep up is the next question. They were very solid down the stretch of the regular season, but have been shaky in the Nippon Series thusfar.

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No Swallows, No Life

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