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Lotte controls their own destiny; Orix can do no better than 5th

by on Sep.29, 2010 @ 4:15 am, under NPB

Last night was a big night for the Chiba Lotte Marines, especially after the Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Orix Buffaloes.

A Marines' loss would have eliminated the club from any chance at a third place finish.  It would have also kept alive the Buffaloes' chances of overtaking the Marines and finishing in fourth.

But the Marines won and accomplished two things:

  1. the Fighters have no more games left on the schedule and the Marines have two and are only 0.5 games out of third.  That means if the Marines win their last two games, they'll overtake the Fighters in the standings and squeeze their way into the Climax Series.
  2. they guaranteed themselves at least a fourth place finish.

The one thing that might be of concern is the Marines opponent for their last two games: the Orix Buffaloes.

The Marines are 14-8-0 against the Buffaloes so far this year.  While that record is enough to instill at least some hope in a Marines' sweep, but what that 14-8-0 doesn't show is that the Marines are also 1-4 against the Buffaloes over their last 5 games.

That said, it should also be noted that the Marines will be starting Yuji Yoshimi (4 G, 4 GS, 2-1, 3.33 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) and Yoshihida Naruse (6 G, 6 GS, 6-0, 1.91 ERA, 0.77 WHIP) in these two games against the Buffaloes.

8 comments on “Lotte controls their own destiny; Orix can do no better than 5th

  1. Ken D.

    What happens if Lotte wins one and ties one? They and NH would both finish 74-67-3. Season series is 13-10-1 in favor of Lotte. Do they get the CS berth or is there a 1 game playoff?

    1. Gen Post author

      True. That may work in favor of the Marines. Completely forgot about that. Still, while I think Naruse will be fine, Yoshimi worries me. He’s shown some flashes this season, but he really hasn’t been all that great.

      As for the tie breaker… That’s wrong. Well, not 100% wrong, but checking the previous year’s standings is the last option.

      Here are the actual rules, as of 2009.

      Central League
      1) the team with more wins ranks higher
      2) which team won the season series
      3) rankings from the previous season
      from http://www.npb.or.jp/cl/communication/qanda/1.html

      Pacific League
      1) which team won the season series
      2) winning pct minus inter-league games
      3) rankings from the previous season
      from http://pacific.npb.or.jp/play-off/cs2009_agreement.html

    2. Steve

      Whew, that’s much better! I’m glad Wayne was wrong about that – at least how it looks from last year’s criteria.

      I’m worried about Yoshimi, too – he hasn’t had a great outing as a starter in a while:

      http://sports.nifty.com/baseball/cs/player/npb/11973/5.htm

      I would have given Ohmine a shot myself – just keep him on a short leash. That might be Nishimura’s plan in reverse – start Yoshimi, have Ohmine ready for long relief duty should he look off. God knows we can’t count on Ono for long relief anymore.

      I see Akichika got called up along with even more Orix ni-gun players today. Should be interesting. I’ll be there, of course :)

  2. Tim

    Oh, Steve, I didn’t know about that but yes, it’s really crap to use last season record! And I also think that head-to-head record should be the first priority, then they even could have gone for RS-RA, then number of RS… Well, a lot of statistical number can be considered.
    Anyway, I do think Lotte will get the last ticket to climax season.

  3. Ken D.

    Last year’s record, eh? Well, that’s certainly fair to this year’s team…

    Thanks for doing the legwork finding the rule, Steve. I must have read the article last year but thought there would be a more reasonable tiebreaker in place. Oh, NPB, every time I try to love you you do something to make me push you away…

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