The Yomiuri Giants clinched first place today with their 10-1 victory over the Rakuten Eagles. The Giants are the first Central League team to finish in first since the start of Inter-league play in 2005.
Inter-league play is currently scheduled to end on June 19. Once Inter-league play ends, one player from the Yomiuri Giants will be selected as the Inter-league MVP and two additional players from any of the twelve teams will given the Nihon Seimei Award.
Sanspo is carrying the following comments from Tatsunori Hara:
On finishing in first...
The Giants got off to a very bad start [this year] but we managed to get to .500 for the start of Inter-league play and kept that momentum going to finish with a great Inter-league series.
On being the first Central League team to finish in first...
The Central League has not been very good during Inter-league play. I think it was good for the Central League that the Giants were the first team to finish in first.
You are eleven games over .500 during Inter-league play. Your thoughts on the team.
There is a nice balance between the pitching and hitting. Each player has managed to stand on their own while playing well against the opposition. The climax of the season, the pennant race is still to come and I would like to maintain this current state while striving to reach the next level.
Your thoughts on today's game.
It was big that we scored four runs first. Shiomi is a great pitcher, but we managed to get to him early and I think that played a large part in our victory.