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Nippon Series Game 7: Lions beat the Giants 3-2, 2008 Nippon Series Champions!

by on Nov.08, 2008 @ 7:32 pm, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants
Tetsuya Utsumi 内海哲也

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
29  12  8   0  2    1   772  184.1  166  7   68   7   154  3   0   71  56  2.73

Seibu Lions
Fumiya Nishiguchi 西口文也

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
22  8   6   0  0    0   517  116.1  125  18  48   4   92   5   0   69  65  5.03

News and Notes: It'll be all hands on deck for the final game of the season. While the starter for the Lions is Nishiguchi, Watanabe won't be afraid to turn to the bullpen early: early reports indicate that Ishii and Wakui will be available. Ishii last pitched on Tuesday and threw 86 pitches; Wakui on Thursday and 101 pitches.

The same will go for the Giants, although if Utsumi is on, there probably won't be a need to dip into the pen until the later innings. And if the need should arise, Uehara might be available (he only threw 52 pitches during his last start Thursday).

After leaving the game early on Thursday, Nakajima wasn't really tested too much in the batter's box. He went 1-for-3 with a strike out and walked twice. The announcers on TV seemed to be questioning why the Giants weren't attacking Nakajima more to see just how good that strained abdominal muscle is feeling.

7:00PM UPDATE: Sakamoto just hit a home run in the bottom of the second to give the Giants their second run of the game (the first run came in the first inning when Nishiguchi threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded, letting a run cross the plate). ... Ishii is warming in the pen for the Lions.

7:05PM UPDATE: Nishiguchi retired the next three batters in order to end the inning. ... After listening to the commentary team on TV, I'm now wondering why the Lions didn't just start Ishii. According to the commentary team, Nishiguchi has not won a game in the post-season and what's more, the last time he pitched was back on October 4th against the Eagles. Why start a pitcher like that?

7:10PM UPDATE: Etoh came in to bat for Nishiguchi so Ishii will most likely pitch the third. Utsumi looks like he has settled down (he didn't look very sharp in the first). He has retired the last 9 batters in a row. ... Ishii is on the mound for the Lions in the bottom of the third. ... Ohnuma and Taninaka are warming in the pen.

7:30PM UPDATE: The Lions have runners on first and second with one out. ... Goto fouls out. ... Ochi and Nishimura are warming in the pen for the Giants. ... Hirao grounds out to short to end the inning.

7:46PM UPDATE: Bocachica just hit a solo home run to give the Lions their first run of the game in the top of the 5th with 2 outs. He came into the game to pinch-hit for Ishii. ... Wakui is warming and will most likely relieve Ishii ... Kataoka flies out to left for the final out of the inning.

7:50PM UPDATE: 2,200 fans are in attendance at the Seibu Dome, watching the game. ... Wakui is in. Bocachica moves into right. Sato moves from right into center. Noda enters the game as catcher and takes over Goto's spot in the lineup. Kuriyama moves from center to left.

8:08PM UPDATE: Pitching change for the Giants: Nishimura comes in for Utsumi. Utsumi got the first out of the inning. ... Nakajima flies out to right for the second out of the inning. ... Nakamura strikes out to end the inning.

8:27PM UPDATE: Ochi is pitching for the Giants. ... Noda grounds out to third for the first out of the 7th. ... Hirao gets on base with a single. ... It looks like Ishii will be pinch-hitting for Wakui (he's in the on-deck circle). ... Sato walks. Runners on first and second with 1 out. ... Ishii is batting for Wakui. ... Ishii strikes out looking for the second out of the inning. ... Bocachica strikes out swinging to end the inning. Nice pitching by Ochi to get out of a 1-out, first and second situation without giving up a run.

9:07PM UPDATE: Lions are threatening. Kataoka reached first after getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second and was bunted over by Kuriyama. ... Ochi is still on the mound for the Giants. ... Nakajima taps one toward short, the throw home is NOT IN TIME! Throw over to first and Nakajima is out at first for the second out. The game is tied at 2. ... Nakamura walks. ... Noda walks. Runners on first and second with 2 out. ... Hirao singles up the middle, Nakamura scores! Lions now up, 3-2. Runners on first and second with 2 out. ... Pitching change: Toyada comes in to relieve Ochi. Ochi probably should have been lifted after walking Noda. ... Toyoda retires Sato on a grounder to third.

9:16PM UPDATE: Bottom of the 8th, Alex Graman is pitching for the Lions. ... Tani pinch hit for Tsuruoka and grounds out to third. ... Wakiya strikes out. ... Suzuki pops out to second for the final out of the inning. The Giants only have 3 more outs remaining, but Ogasawara and Ramirez will get their chances in the bottom of the 9th.

9:28PM UPDATE: Akada leads off the top of the 9th with a triple. ... Bocachica strikes out. ... Kataoka fouls out to Ogasawara. ... Kuriyama walks, runners on first and third with 2 out. ... Nakajima grounds out to short for the final out of the inning.

9:28PM UPDATE: Kimura leads off for the Giants. ... Kimura strikes out swinging. ... Ogasawara grounds out to first for the second out. ... Ramirez grounds out to short for the final out of the inning. Lions beat the Giants, 3-2!

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Nippon Series Game 6: Lions beat the Giants 4-1

by on Nov.08, 2008 @ 4:15 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants
Hisanori Takahashi 高橋尚成

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
23  8   5   0  0    0   518  122.0  127  16  30   5   94   2   0   63  56  4.13

Seibu Lions
Kazuyuki Hoashi 帆足和幸

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
27  11  6   0  3    3   724  174.2  169  13  38   5   115  5   0   59  51  2.63

Should be an interesting game. I give the Lions the advantage because I think Hoashi has been a better pitcher this season than Takahashi. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean a thing in baseball. I think a lot will also depend on just how healthy Nakajima is and if Nakamura can carry mini-streak into the game.

Nakajima is in the lineup, but not Hosokawa. Ginjiro is the starting catcher for the Lions tonight.

Lee is back in the starting lineup for the Giants and Terauchi is at second.

6:28PM UPDATE: Nakamura is up to bat with runners on first and second with 1 out and a full count. Nakajima is on first and Kuriyama is at second. ... And Nakamura walks to load the bases for Goto. Not a very good start here for Takahashi.

6:31PM UPDATE: Goto pops out for the second out of the inning. Hirao is now up to bat. ... Hirao clears the bases with a double over Ramirez's head. Lions up 3-0.

6:31PM UPDATE: Sato gets an infield single, runners on first and third with 2 outs. Ginjiro is now up to bat (he is the 8th batter to hit in the inning). ... Ginjiro strikes out to end the inning.

7:07PM UPDATE: Kamei just hit an RBI double, giving the Giants their first run of the game (Ramirez and Lee started off the inning with singles). Runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the second. ... Sakamoto just hit a tapper back to the mound for the first out of the inning. ... Ohmichi is in the on-deck circle meaning Takahashi's night might be over. ... Tsuruoka grounds out for the second out of the inning. ... Ohmichi is officially in the game which means Takahashi's night is over. ... Ohmichi grounds out to short to end the inning. ... Tono was warming in the top of the second so he might be the one to relieve Takahashi in the third.

7:28PM UPDATE: Suzuki started the bottom of the third with a single but was erased when Terauchi hit into a double play. ... Ogasawara grounds out to end the inning. ... Nice pitching by Hoashi to keep the Giants from having a big inning. He's a ground ball pitcher and it's showing: of the 9 outs he has recorded so far, 1 was on a caught stealing, 1 was on a fly ball, and 6 were on grounders (the remaining out came as a result of a GIDP).

7:44PM UPDATE: Pitching change for the Giants in the top of the 4th: Nishimura is in to relieve Tono. Tono retired the first two batters of the inning but then walked 3 straight batters. Double switch: Kimura takes over second and will bat in the pitcher's spot. Nishimura moves into Terauchi's spot in the lineup ... Goto grounds out to end the inning.

8:01PM UPDATE: Pitching change: Kishi is heading to the mound to relieve Hoashi. Runners on first and third with 1 out in the bottom of the fourth. One thing to keep in mind - he threw 147 pitches on Wednesday and will pitching on 2 days rest. Some defensive movement as well: Bocachica comes off the bench and goes to right and will bat 9th. Sato moves from right to left. Kishi moves into Goto's spot in the lineup. ... Sakamoto lifted a fly to center. It seemed like it might be able to score Ramirez as third, but he held up. Lee advanced to second. ... Tsuruoka up to bat with runners on second and third and 2 out. ... Tsuruoka strikes out to end the inning.

8:16PM UPDATE: Hirao just launched a homer to give the Lions another run -- he now has 4 rbis. Sato just served a single to left. ... Kataoka is up to bat with runners on first and third and 1 out. ... Kataoka hits in to a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

8:28PM UPDATE: Giants threatened in their half of the 5th when Suzuki singled with 1 out and then stole second. But Wakiya flew out and Ogasawara struck out to end the inning with Suzuki on third (he advanced on Wakiya's fly out).

9:19PM UPDATE: Giants are threatening in the bottom of the 8th. Runners on first and third with 1 out and Ramirez up to bat. Kishi is still in the game (63 pitches over 4 innings). ... Ramirez pops out to second for the second out of the inning. ... Lee strikes out looking.

9:40PM UPDATE: Kishi is coming back out to pitch the bottom of the 9th. He has tossed 69 pitches over 4.2 innings. Abe is swinging a bat and will most likely pinch-hit for Yamaguchi. At this point, the Giants will be sending Kamei, Yamaguchi, and Kato to the plate. ... Kamei grounds out to short for the first out of the inning. ... Abe is in to pinch hit for Yamaguchi. ... Abe hits a double to right-center. ... Kato singles through the left-side, Abe to third. ... Kimura strikes out swinging for the second out of the inning. ... Suzuki strikes out swinging.

Lions win! They beat the Giants 4-1 behind a gutsy performance by Kishi.

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Nippon Series Game 5: Giants beat the Lions 7-3; lead series 3-2

by on Nov.06, 2008 @ 4:15 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants
Koji Uehara 上原浩治

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
26  6   5   1  2    0   370   89.2   90  11  16   5   72   0   0   43  38  3.81

Seibu Lions
Hideaki Wakui 涌井秀章

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
25  10  11  0  5    0   738  173.0  183  16  51   8   122  11  0   80  75  3.90

Pre-Game Notes
Big game for both teams. Based on last night's outcome, it would seem that the Lions have more momentum going into game 5 than the Giants do. I'm guessing that there will also be scouts on-hand to watch Koji Uehara, so it'll be doubly important for him to pitch well tonight. (The scouts might actually come away more impressed with Wakui than Uehara.)

Again, the Giants really need to focus on keeping people off the bases for Nakajima (2 homers and 4 RBI) and Nakamura (3 home runs and 7 RBI over the last two games). And the Giants really need Lee to wake up from his slump (0 for his last 6 at bats and 4 strike outs). But he'll be starting tonight's game on the bench -- Ogasawara will shift over to first and Wakiya will play third. Abe will DH and bat in Lee's spot behind Ramirez.

Wakui has been really dominant so far: he's given up 2 runs (1 earned) on 12 hits, 3 walks, and 23 strike outs over his last three post-season starts (23 innings). Based on those numbers, it would seem Wakui will have another solid start tonight.

With Uehara, I'm not really sure what to expect. He's been much better since the Olympics, but I still don't feel all that confident when he's on the mound. I think it'll be fairly easy to tell if he has his stuff working early on.

6:20PM UPDATE: Takuya strikes out for the second out of the inning. Ogasawara up to bat. Uehara is soft-tossing on the side, keeping his shoulder loose. And Ogasawara strikes out to end the inning.

I wonder if it hurts Japanese pitchers any when they go to the Majors and can't soft-toss in foul territory in between innings. I think most pitchers take advantage of it.

6:33PM UPDATE: 3 straight singles and the bases are loaded for Nakamura. This is a big no-no. Uehara seems to have decent movement on his pitches, but unfortunately they all appear to be going right down the middle. I think he isn't quite there on his velocity.

Uehara strikes out Nakamura on a forkball for the first out of the inning. The Lions score on a run on a chopper to second by Ishii. Takuya tried to turn two, but the ball bounced right near the bag and he had to take it himself and then toss to first.

6:37PM UPDATE: It looks like Uehara has a lot of up-and-down movement, but not as much side-to-side movement. Uehara strikes out Goto looking with a fastball on the outside corner. So he gives up 1 run after giving up 3 straight singles. Nice way to work out of a jam. But it could be a long night for Uehara. He needs to settle down and get into a rhythm.

6:42PM UPDATE: Wakui strikes out Ramirez looking. But Abe just drilled a fastball from Wakui over the center field fence to tie the game at 1. BIG home run for Abe and the Giants. Wakui looked like he might end up on cruise control again and a home run like this could help the Giants get things together against Wakui. Kamei flied out to deep left for the second out of the inning. Wakiya followed with a fly ball to left for the third out of the inning.

6:55PM UPDATE: Hosokawa was lifted due to a silly running play at first base (he sort of slid, sort of didn't, was tagged out by Ogasawara and tumbled). Seems he may have injured his right shoulder. Ginjiro is now in the game catching.

Uehara had a decent second inning, retiring the first two batters in order before giving up a single to Akada (every single has been hit to the opposite field). He then retired Kataoka on an infield pop-up.

Sakamoto strikes out for the first out of the third inning.

7:04PM UPDATE: Nakamura is up to bat for the Lions with Nakajima on second (he reached on a bad throw by Sakamoto and went to second because the ball ended up in the camera well). Nakamura just flied out to center for the second out of the inning.

Uehara doesn't seem to be throwing many forkballs. In the first game, I think close to half of the pitches he threw were forkballs. So far tonight, he appears to be throwing a lot more sliders. Could be an indication that his forkball isn't working very well.

Ishii just got himself an RBI single as the Lions re-take the lead, 2-1. Looked like it was off a forkball.

The Giants have two pitchers warming in the pen. Couldn't get their names.

Goto with a single to left, runners on first and second with 2 outs. The one thing about this Seibu lineup is that it's capable for scoring runs in bunches.

7:10PM UPDATE: Sato with a single. Based are now loaded with 2 outs. Pitching coach is heading to the mound.

Yamaguchi and Nishimura are warming in the pen for the Giants.

7:12PM UPDATE: Ginjiro is up to bat. Uehara is missing his spots. 50 pitches over 2.2 innings (16 batters faced). He manages to strike out Ginjiro swinning. Uehara wiggles out of another major jam.

7:20PM UPDATE: Lots of outside pitches for Ogasawara. With that hurting left hand, seems like the best way to pitch him. He pops out to short, but he made Wakui throw a lot of pitches (10 pitches I think).

Ramirez breaks his bat and grounds into a double play to end the inning.

7:30PM UPDATE: Uehara is out of the game. Yamaguchi is now pitching for the Giants. If there were scouts in the stands, they couldn't have been very impressed with this start.

7:40PM UPDATE: Nakajima is being pulled from the game for some reason. Hirao is coming in to play second and Kataoka slides over to short. Nakajima struck out swinging to end the bottom of the 4th. No official word yet on what the problem was.

7:50PM UPDATE: Yamaguchi starts off the bottom of the 5th with a walk to Nakamura.

I shudder to imagine what kind of crazy numbers this Lions' lineup would be putting up if GG Sato and Craig Brazell were healthy (they accounted for 48 homers and 149 RBIs).

Nishimura and Ochi are warming in the pen.

7:56PM UPDATE: Giants are going to the bullpen again. Looks like Nishimura will be relieving Yamaguchi. There are currently two runners on base (walk to start the inning and then a single after retiring to batters) with 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th.

8:15PM UPDATE: It doesn't appear as though Hosokawa's and Nakajima's injuries are all that serious. Neither will be going to hospital at this point. And both are just icing their ailments. With an off-day tomorrow, the Lions were probably just playing it safe by taking both players out early. BTW: Nakajima apparently felt a twinge in his left side after striking out in the fourth.

8:31PM UPDATE: Giants just tied the game up at 2 on an RBI single by Abe with Ramirez on second (he hustled to second on a ball hit back up the middle that ricocheted off the second base bag and bounced into center).

Kamei just hit a double off the center field fence. Runners now on second and third with 1 out. Wakui is still on the mound, but there are two pitchers warming in the pen.

8:35PM UPDATE: Wakiya just hit a 2-run triple... The left fielder and center fielder were playing shallow and Wakiya drilled one over and between the two for a triple. Giants now have a 4-2 lead.

Wakui has fallen apart all of a sudden here. He's at 100 pitches after 6.1 innings.

Sakamoto just hit himself an RBI double. Giants now have a 5-2 lead. That'll be it for Wakui. Looks like Onodera will be relieving him. Wakui gave up 5 straight hits (4 extra base hits) after retiring Ogasawara for the first out of the inning.

8:47PM UPDATE: Giants bring Toyoda to pitch the bottom of the 7th. He'll face Nakamura, Ishii, and Goto.

Toyoda retires the side in order. On to the top of the 8th.

8:52PM UPDATE: Mitsui is now pitching for the Lions. He'll face Kimura, Ogasawara, and Ramirez in the top of the 8th.

Ochi is warming in the Giants bullpen.

Ramirez pokes a single through the left side of the infield with 2 out. Kajimae comes in to pinch-run for Ramirez. Abe is now up to bat. He hits one to DEEP right, but it's caught at the track for the third out of the inning.

9:01PM UPDATE: Ochi is in to pitch the bottom of the 8th. He'll face Sato, Ginjiro, and Akada.

Kroon is warming in the pen for the Giants.

Ochi retires Sato on a grounder to third. Ohshima comes in to pinch hit for Ginjiro. Oshima singles up the middle and is erased on a grounder to third by Akada. Runner on first with 2 out and Kataoka up to bat. A grounder to third and the inning is over. On to the top of the 9th.

9:17PM UPDATE: Kamei leads off the 9th with a single. Mitsui is still on the mound for the Lions. Kamei steals second with Wakiya up to bat. Wakiya grounds out and moves Kamei over to third.

The Lions bring in a new pitcher: Taninaka. The Giants also bring in Lee to pinch hit for Sakamoto.

Lee is awarded first... Looks like he was hit in the back foot (left). Tani comes in to pinch hit for Tsuruoka.

9:31PM UPDATE: Tani goes the other way and drives in Kamei at third. Giants extend their lead and now lead 6-2. Runners on first and third with 1 out. Suzuki dives over the plate to bunt the ball to third. The 7th run for the Giants scores. Kimura flies out to end the inning.

9:35PM UPDATE: Kroon should be coming in to pitch the 9th.

9:41PM UPDATE: Kroon just gave up a solo shot to Hirao with 1 out. Giants now lead 7-3. Impressive shot by Hirao -- he drilled a 154km/h fastball up in the zone over the left field fence.

Nakamura strikes out swinging on a ball in the dirt. Kroon recovers the ball and tags Nakamura out himself. Nishimura legs out an infield single with 2 outs.

9:48PM UPDATE: Kroon strikes out Goto to end the inning. The Giants beat the Lions, 7-3.

Tomorrow is an off-day and then the series returns to the Tokyo Dome.

10:07PM UPDATE: Box score from the game is now available.

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Nippon Series Game 4: Lions beat the Giants, 5-0

by on Nov.05, 2008 @ 4:12 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants
Seth Greisinger

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
31  17  9   0  0    0   842  206.0  201  20  31   9   167  3   0   75  70  3.06

Seibu Lions
Takayuki Kishi 岸孝之

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
26  12  4   0  4    2   695  168.1  151  12  48   5   138  4   0   65  64  3.42

Notes: Big game for the Lions. The Giants are on something of a roll right now and unless the Lions can figure out a way to slow them down in this game, it could end up being a disappointing finish for them.

Key players for the Lions will continue to be the 2, 3, and 4 hitters (Kuriyama, Nakajima, and Nakamura). If the Giants can keep these 3 players off-balance, they'll have a solid shot at beating the Lions again. Ensuring that Nakajima and Nakamura enter the batter's box without any one on will be important.

For the Giants, Ogasawara and Ramirez are the key drivers of the lineup. Lee has been quiet up until now, but he can be streaky and he tends to do well in pressure situations -- the Lions will need to continue pitching carefully to him. Abe in the starting lineup tonight as the DH means the lineup will be that much deeper.

7:05PM UPDATE: Greisinger had something of a rough start, giving up 2 straight hits (single and a double) that led to a run being scored. His second inning of work went much smoother, but he still doesn't seem to have very good control over his curve.

Kishi has been very effective, striking out 4 Giants in 3 innings of work. Unlike Greisinger, his curve is hitting the right spots and keeping the Giants off-balance.

The home plate ump seems to have a fairly small strike zone. There have been some pitches that appeared to be strikes but were called balls.

End of the third inning, Greisinger retires the side in order.

7:24PM UPDATE: A little bit of a scuffle here in the bottom of the 4th, as Greisinger hits Nakajima. Both benches sort of cleared... Nakajima doesn't look too pleased. I wanted to see a replay of the pitch, but they aren't showing one right now.

Nakamura just absolutely KILLED what appeared to be an inside fastball. 2-run bomb for Nakamura gives the Lions a 3-0 lead. Looks like the sleeping giant has awoken.

7:54PM UPDATE: Top of the 6th. Greisinger may have worked his last inning -- he's icing his shoulder in the dugout. The Giants have a runner on first with no out and Suzuki in the batter's box. Kishi is still pitching for the Lions.

8:04PM UPDATE: Greisinger comes back out for the bottom of the 6th. Oh boy... Nakamura just hit his second 2-run homer of the game to give the Lions a 5-0 lead. And out goes Greisinger -- 2 batters too late. The Lions seem to just feast off Greisinger.

8:36PM UPDATE: Kataoka made a really nice play deep in the whole at second to get Kamei at first. The game is now heading into the bottom of the 7th and the Lions still have a 5-0 lead. Tono is on the mound for the Giants.

8:46PM UPDATE: Kataoka was just called out for failing to touch second after running back to first on a fly ball that was caught in left.

The game is in the top of the 8th. Kishi is still pitching for the Lions. After retiring the first two batters, Suzuki gets on base with a single up the middle.

9:02PM UPDATE: Toyoda pitched a perfect 8th for the Giants. Kishi is back out there for the top of the 9th. The Giants will send Ogasawara, Ramirez, and Lee to the plate this inning. Kishi has held the Giants to 4 hits and 9 strike outs.

9:10PM UPDATE: The Giants are down to their final out.

9:12PM UPDATE: Lee grounds out for the final out of the game. Kishi pitches a complete game, 4-hit, shut-out. The series is now tied at 2 games apiece.

UPDATE: Box score is now online.

Nippon Series Game 3: Giants beat the Lions, 6-4

by on Nov.03, 2008 @ 9:55 pm, under NPB
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Some Early Notes
I'm still not sure who the starters are, but it would appear that Tetsuya Utsumi will make the start for the Yomiuri Giants and Kazuhisa Ishii for the Seibu Lions.

Michihiro Ogasawa's status is still unknown for tonight's game. It'll be a big blow if he ends up missing games.

There's a good chance Alex Ramirez will be DH'ing during the games at the Seibu Dome. This would then allow the Giants to field a better defensive outfield of Yoshitomo Tani in LF, Takahiro Suzuki in CF and Yoshiyuki Kamei in RF.

Hisanobu Watanabe (Nabetoradamus, a play on Nostradamus) is telling reporters that he feels the shift to PL rules will only help his team. "The DH rule is in effect, and we have a team that can hit from the bottom-up. I think the momentum will swing in our favor."

6:00PM UPDATE:

Code:
Yomiuri Giants
Tetsuya Utsumi 内海哲也

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
29  12  8   0  2    1   772  184.1  166  7   68   7   154  3   0   71  56  2.73

Seibu Lions
Kazuhisa Ishii 石井一久

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
25  11  10  0  1    0   593  135.1  150  16  40  11   108  1   0   78  65  4.32

6:19PM UPDATE: Ogasawara is in the lineup. He's also batting right now with Suzuki on third... Wait, wild pitch, Suzuki scores from third. Giants up, 1-0. Ogasawara pops out for the second out of the inning.

6:52PM UPDATE: Giants now have a 4-0 lead behind Suzuki's 3-run homer in the top of the 2nd.

7:30PM UPDATE: Utsumi is really dealing right now. He made Nakajima look pretty foolish during his last at bat. His slider has a pretty sharp break on it right now.

8:11PM UPDATE: With runners on first and third and one out, Nakajima singles back up the middle. 1 run scores. Pitching change for the Giants as Utsumi leaves the game with runners on first and second with 1 out in the bottom of the 6th. Nishimura comes on to relieve Utsumi.

8:15PM UPDATE: Nakamura just launched a mammoth 3-run shot into the left field stands. Lions now trail by only 1 run. Ramirez's homer in the top of the 6th looms really large now.

9:35PM UPDATE: Giants beat the Lions, 6-4. Ogasawara hit a homer in the 8th for the Giants' 6th run. Kroon closed out the game with a perfect 9th.

UPDATE: Box score from the game now available.

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Nippon Series Game 2: Giants beat the Lions 3-2 on a Ramirez walk-off solo homer

by on Nov.02, 2008 @ 5:20 am, under NPB
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Code:
Yomiuri Giants
Hisanori Takahashi 高橋尚成

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
23  8   5   0  0    0   518  122.0  127  16  30   5   94   2   0   63  56  4.13

Seibu Lions
Kazuyuki Hoashi 帆足和幸

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
27  11  6   0  3    3   724  174.2  169  13  38   5   115  5   0   59  51  2.63

7:19PM UPDATE: Top of the fourth, Nakajima just hit a 2-run homer. He's really have a great series so far. The Giants really need to figure out a way to pitch to him.

7:46PM UPDATE: Ramirez is up to bat with runners on second and third and 1 out in the bottom of the 5th.

7:50PM UPDATE: Ramirez grounds out for the second out of the inning. He left a runner on third with 2 out in the first, first and second with 2 out in the third, and now second and third with 1 out. He's obviously pressing.

7:51PM UPDATE: Lee walks to load the bases, Tani in the box. Ohnuma is warming in the pen.

7:53PM UPDATE: Ugh, what an awful swing by Tani as he grounds out to end the inning. Looks like the entire lineup is pressing a bit. The fact that they lost yesterday probably isn't helping much.

8:08PM UPDATE: The Lions have a runner on second in the top of the 6th with 1 out and Kuriyama up to bat.

8:09PM UPDATE: Kuriyama strikes out for out number 2. Nakajima is coming up to bat. Takahashi is getting yanked.

8:12PM UPDATE: Nishimura is in for Takahashi.

8:18PM UPDATE: Nishimura managed to retire both Nakajima and Nakamura without giving up a run. Ohnuma is now on the mound for the Lions. Sakamoto leads off for the Giants.

8:25PM UPDATE: Kamei just hit a game-tying 1-run double. Suzuki is now up to bat with a runner on second and 1 out. Giants really need to score that runner on second...

8:42PM UPDATE: Hoshino is now pinching for the Lions in the bottom of the 7th. Ogasawara leads off for the Giants.

8:45PM UPDATE: Ogasawara was just hit in the left-hand (he was striding into the ball). It hit the wrist area straight on and he basically crumpled to the ground. The trainers are taking a look at him right now -- the game is temporarily on-hold.

8:48PM UPDATE: Ogasawara appears to be alright as he jogs out of the dugout over to first. It looks like there's a fairly big bruise on his left wrist.

8:52PM UPDATE: Ramirez grounds out moving Ogasawara to second and Lee strikes out for the first two outs of the innings. The Giants send Ohmichi to pinchi hit for Nishimura. The Lions send Onodera to the mound. Ogasawara is being lifted for a pinch-runner -- his left hand looks pretty bad. Terauchi is running for Ogasawara. (All these changes happening at the same time.)

8:53PM UPDATE: TV Asahi just announced that they'll continue with the broadcast of the game -- they usually show a movie in their 9-11pm time slot.

8:56PM UPDATE: Ohmichi was just hit in the left-hand (he's a right-handed batter that absolutely LOVES to choke up on the bat). Runners on first and second for Sakamoto with 2 outs. Big at bat here for Sakamoto.

9:21PM UPDATE: The Lions will send Kuriyama, Nakajima, and Nakamura to the plate in the top of the 9th. Ochi is still on the mound for the Giants (he was brought in during the 8th).

9:31PM UPDATE: Ogasawara has been sent to the hospital for further testing. The Lions have brought on Okamoto to pitch the 9th. The Giants have Terauchi (in place of Ogasawara), Ramirez, and Lee for the 9th.

9:35 UPDATE: AND THERE IT GOES! Ramirez hits a walk-off solo shot over the left-center field stands.

Giants Win! The series is now tied at 1. Tomorrow is an off-day and game 3 will be at the Seibu Dome.

9:55 UPDATE: You can now view the box score from the game.

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Nippon Series Game 1: Lions beat the Giants, 2-1

by on Nov.01, 2008 @ 6:10 am, under NPB
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Code:
Yomiuri Giants
Koji Uehara 上原浩治

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
26  6   5   1  2    0   370   89.2   90  11  16   5   72   0   0   43  38  3.81

Seibu Lions
Hideaki Wakui 涌井秀章

G   W   L   S  CG  Sho  BF    IP     H   HR  BB  HPB  SO   WP  BK  R   ER  ERA
25  10  11  0  5    0   738  173.0  183  16  51   8   122  11  0   80  75  3.90

8:38PM UPDATE: The Lions currently have a 2-1 lead over the Giants in the bottom of the 8th. Wakui is still in the game for the Lions. Shinnosuke Abe is up to bat with 2 strikes against him.

8:39PM UPDATE: Abe flies out to center for the second out of the inning. Uehara tossed 7 full innings and was replaced by Daisuke Ochi in the 8th. Abe came in to pinch hit for Ochi in the bottom of the 8th.

8:44PM UPDATE: Kentaro Nishimura is pitching for the Giants in the top of the 9th. Alex Graman is warming in the Lions' pen.

8:49PM UPDATE: Wakui is not in the dugout, so there's a good chance that Graman will be in for the 9th. Nishimura just struck out the last two batters he faced to end in the inning. The Giants have their 2, 3, and 4 hitters coming up to bat in their half of the 9th.

8:52PM UPDATE: Graman is indeed on the mound to start the 9th. With the way Wakui was pitching, I'm guessing they're happy he's gone.

9:00PM UPDATE: Graman gets Ramirez to ground into a double play for the final two outs of the game. Lions take the first game of the series.

UPDATE: Box scores from the game are now available.

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2008 Nippon Series Schedule

by on Oct.31, 2008 @ 7:03 pm, under NPB
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Here is the schedule for this year's Nippon Series.

Code:
November 1 - Tokyo Dome - 18:15 - Nippon TV
November 2 - Tokyo Dome - 18:15 - TV Asahi
November 4 - Seibu Dome - 18:15 - TV Asahi
November 5 - Seibu Dome - 18:15 - TV Asahi
November 6 - Seibu Dome - 18:15 - TV Asahi
November 8 - Tokyo Dome - 18:15 - Nippon TV
November 9 - Tokyo Dome - 18:15 - Nippon TV
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