Monday, September 25, 2006

Japanese Baseball Update - A Dicky Gonzalez sighting!

Rakuten picks high school fastballer Tanaka in draft- Apparently the Japanese draft system is just a little different from ours. In the first round, every team may select any player, and then through a complex lottery (with records and all that), players claimed by multiple teams are awarded to one team for exclusive negotiation rights. Teams that fail to recieve the player get an alternate pick, which may also be subject to lottery. Tanaka was named on the most bids in the first round, with 4. He throws around 95 and in his free time, has a thing for grafitti. Naoichi Domoue was selected by three different clubs and awarded to Chunichi, despite being a shortstop who hit fifty-five homers in high school.

Somewhere, the Japanese version of this man is screaming at people about this.

The standings in the CL show us a two team race down the stretch:
Chunichi 75-49-5, .605, -- (M# 12)
Hanshin 75-55-4, .577, 3
Yakult 64-64-2, .500, 13
Yomiuri 62-71-2, .466, 17.5
Hiroshima 56-70-5, .444, 20
Yokohama 52-76-3, .406, 25

In Chunichi's last game, they were stifled by Dicky Gonzalez, who pitched a four-hitter to win 4-1. The amazing Kosuke Fukudome provided the only offense for the Dragons, a solo shot in the second inning. He is leading the CL in batting average (.356), OBP (.441), OPS (1.110), doubles (40), and runs (105).

In the PL, where the season ends a little earlier because they actually HAVE a playoff system, we're looking at this:
x-Seibu 79-53-2, .598 -- (M# 2)
x-Nippon Ham 80-54-0 .597 0.0
x-Softbank 75-53-5 .586 2.0
Lotte 63-69-1 .477 16.0
Orix 51-80-3 .389 27.5
Rakuten 45-83-4 .352 32.0

Bobby Valentine's squadron will not be defending their title this year. Seibu has 2 games left, Nippon Ham and Softbank have 3, 2 of which are against each other. Lets all root against Seibu, who are best known for unleashing Kaz Matsui on the American mainland. Those sick bastards.

Either way, with all three having already clinched, expect a playoff preview sometime in the near future. The rest of the season is still VERY important, because after seeing it's top two teams lose in it's first two years of adopting a playoff system, the Pacific League has guaranteed the winner of the regular season both the bye, homefield, AND one free win in a best-of-five.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Dragons P Masahiro Yamamoto for becoming the oldest player in Japanese baseball history to throw a no-hitter, 3-0 over Hanshin. Yamamoto, 41, held the Tigers without a hit or a walk (the perfect game was ruined by an error). Hanshin is relying heavily on other teams to help them win the CL, as they are a pathetic 5-13-1 against the front-running Dragons.

1 comment:

About Medicine Blog said...

Either way, with all three having already clinched, expect a playoff preview sometime in the near future.