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Nippon Series News and Notes: Giants’ Victory Parada Route

by on Nov.08, 2009 @ 1:15 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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Nippon Ham Fighters

...The Fighters collected 11 hits and left 13 men on base last night.  They became the first team in Nippon Series history to leave a runner on in every inning and get shut-out.

...Q&A with Masataka Nashida via Sanspo:

On losing the championships...

More than being down, I just really wish we had gone to a Game 7.  I said to the players, "we went through a lot of things, you guys did a great job."

On being shut-out...

After they scored that first run, we had a chance to score as well, but we just couldn't take advantage.

On looking back over the series...

We were able to play our game, but the Giants were the better team.  I'm frustrated / upset, but it was still a good series.

On being 2-4...

I have to come to terms that we were only able to win 2 games and move on to focusing on becoming champs [next season].

On next season...

We battled it out this season.  And while I think we've become a stronger team because of that, I'd still like to bring in younger players.

Yomiuri Giants

...The last time the Giants held a victory parade for their championship in 2002, 400,000 people showed up.  The Giants are expecting a much larger crowd this time around.

Victory parade course:

Start from Yomiuri Shimbun HQ
Pass by in front of the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi
Go down Chuo Street
End at Ginza 8-chome

The players will ride on three double-decker buses.

...The Giants went through 2 barrels of sake, 2,000 bottles of beer, and 240 bottles of champagne in 15 minutes during their victory celebration last night.  Alex Ramirez took a picture and shook hands with each of his teammates.

Opening celebration comments:

Takuo Takihana (owner) -
The regular season, the Climax Series, the Nippon Series...  I'm grateful to all of you that fought through a 154 game schedule.

Tatsunori Hara (manager) -
It was a long year.  We've created another legend.

Shinnosuke Abe (player rep) -
It seems like we'll be getting championship rings, so thank Mr. Owner!

...Shun Tono became the 18th pitcher to last less than an inning during the Nippon Series.

...The 3 saves by Marc Kroon tied a Nippon Series record.  He also tied a Nippon Series record by saving three games in three consecutive appearances.

...Hideki Matsui's comments:

The Giants were my team for 10 years so I'm extremely happy.  I'm sure the fans must be happy that the team won using a lot of young players. ... I'm sure it's just by chance that they won at the same time I won.

...Q&A with Tatsunori Hara via Sanspo:

On being thrown up in the air 10 times...

For the Giants, becoming champs is the top.  I'm speechless.  I actually wanted to be a part of the group of people tossing me up into the air.

Reasons for winning...

I think we were the better team.  In close games, pitching, power hitting...  I think the Giants were a bit better in all these areas.

Compared to your last championship...

In 2002 it was a team that Shigeo Nagashima put together.  The team fell after that, but to rebuild and then win again is big.

You were also the WBC manager this year...

It was just about a year ago that I got the call.  I was worried.  But the players, the staff, they all worked to melt my worries away.  In looking back, I think there was a lot of stability.

On a great season...

Nothing can top this.  But we can't stop here.  Myself, and this team, will continue to push forward.

Let the Giants’ Championship Sales Begin!

by on Nov.08, 2009 @ 2:37 am, under NPB, Postseason
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With the Yomiuri Giants winning the Nippon Series, a number of stores will be holding sales to celebrate the event.

For 2 days beginning on the 8th, Mitsukoshi will hold a Giants Festa and Championship Sale.  The Nihonbashi score will be selling 100 suits at 8,800 yen, in honor of Tatsunori Hara's uniform number, 88.

Mitsukoshi's Giants Festa and Championship Sale

Mitsukoshi's Giants Festa and Championship Sale

Ito-Yokada will be holding a 3-day sales that also begins on the 8th.  7-Eleven will begin their sale on the 9th for 3 days.

Ito Yokado's Sales Flyer

Ito Yokado's Sales Flyer

Nippon Series News and Notes: Quotes and comments from various players

by on Nov.08, 2009 @ 1:45 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Nippon Ham Fighters

...Mastaka Nashida on the loss:

I really wanted a 7th game.  We did well in a number of areas, like base running...  I need to come to terms that we could only win 2 games.  It was a good series though.  I will work hard towards the dream of becoming Nippon Series champs again [next year].

...Some comments from Yu Darvish:

I wanted to win the last game, but we tried our best and this was the result.  I'll save winning the Nippon Series for next year. ... More than wanting to pitch, I just thought that this was a game we really needed to win ... I did a number of things in order to pitch.  But since I did force myself quite a bit, I need to focus on resting now.

Yomiuri Giants

...Yoshiyuki Kamei has come a long way.  2 years ago he wasn't invited to Fall camp and was prepared to receive his walking papers.

Said Kamei, "A lot of things have popped into my head.  I'm glad I didn't quit and kept on playing. ... I'm grateful to the manager for continuing to use me."

...Tetsuya Utsumi made his first NPB relief appearance in 3 years.

...Marc Kroon racked up 3 saves over the 6 games series.

...In 1981, with the series tied at 2, the Giants won 2 consecutive games against the Fighters to take the Nippon Series, just as they did this year.

...The Giants went through 2,000 bottles of beer and 250 bottles of champagne during their victory celebration.

...Shinnosuke Abe on his RBI double:

My timing on the slider was a little off, but I still got good wood on the ball.  The ball traveled well.  I really wanted to score that first run of the game.

...Tetsuya Utsumi on his pitching (during the game):

This was my best game of the year.  I didn't have a very good start for Game 2 so I wanted a chance to make up for that.  I figured my only chance would be in Game 6, so I kept myself prepared from the start.  But I never thought I'd enter the game in the first.  The game isn't over yet but I'm just speechless.  I'll start crying if I talk any more.

...Shigeo Nagashima's comments:

Persistence helped the team win the championships.  Abe helped pull the team through some tough games.  And Hara's managing abilities shined as he believed in his team's abilities.  I think this team has become true champions that can stand proudly into the future.

...Sadaharu Oh's comments:

All 6 games of the series were great.  The Giants had great rhythm / momentum this past season that it just ended up spilling over into the postseason.  Hara has done a great job this year, from winning the WBC to taking the Nippon Series.  The season ended on a sour note last year against Seibu, but they used that as fodder and pulled together as a team.  Congratulations.

2009 Nippon Series Awards

by on Nov.08, 2009 @ 12:32 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Most Valuable Player Award

Abe Shinnosuke

Trophy from the Commissioner
1M yen from Konami
1M yen from Nihon Seimei
1M yen from Mazda

Fighting Spirit Award

Shinji Takahashi

Trophy from the Commissioner
250,000yen from JSports
300,000yen in coupons from Mizuno
dynabook SS RX2 from Baseball Magazine
120kg of rice and vegetables from JA

Awards of Excellence

Yoshiyuki Kamei

Dicky Gonzalez

Eiichi Koyano

Trophy from the Commissioner
100,000yen from JSports
100,000yen from Nippon Housou
100,000yen from Bunka Housou
100,000yen from Baseball Magazine
Made-to-order Suits from Miyuki Group

===

Abe Shinnosuke

AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI K BB HBP
.316 6 23 3 7 1 0 2 5 4 0 1

Shinji Takahashi

AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI K BB HBP
.385 6 26 5 10 2 0 2 5 4 1 0

Yoshiyuki Kamei

AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI K BB HBP
.262 6 23 3 6 1 0 2 3 2 1 0

Dicky Gonzalez

ERA G W L IP BF H K BB HBP R ER
1.46 2 1 0 12.1 51 12 7 1 0 3 2

Eiichi Koyano

AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI K BB HBP
.391 6 23 3 9 2 0 1 5 5 2 0

Nippon Series: Giants shutout the Fighters 2-0 to take the Nippon Series in 6!

by on Nov.07, 2009 @ 9:24 pm, under Game Summaries, NPB, Postseason
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===

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Yomiuri Giants 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 0
Nippon Ham Fighters 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 1

Sapporo Dome | Attendance: 40,714 | Time: 3h 2m | Giants win the series, 4-2

Shun Tono had to leave the game after facing only 4 batters in the bottom of the first.  And while things could have turned bad for the Giants, Tetsuya Utsumi did a great job in holding the Fighters off in an emergency relief appearance.

The Giants took the lead in the top of the 2nd:

Yoshiyuki Kamei (2-for-4, 2B, R) hit a 1-out double.  He advanced to third on a ground out by Yoshitomo Tani (0-for-3).  Abe Shinnosuke (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) then followed with a double off the base of the center field wall, that gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 6th, they tacked on another run to their lead when Tetsuya Matsumoto (1-for-3, R) hit a 2-out single and then came all the way around to score on Michihiro Ogasawara's (1-for-3, IBB) single into right that Atsunori Inaba (RF) bobbled.

The Fighters had a number of chances to score runs during the game, including the 5th, when they had Kensuke Tanaka (3-for-5) on second with 1 out.  But both Atsunori Inaba (1-for-5) and Shinji Takahashi (2-for-5) struck out looking.  They had another great chance in the 9th when Tomohiro Nioka (1-for-4, 2B) led off the inning with a double and 2 batters later had runners on first and third with only 1 out.  But once again, Inaba and Takahashi struck out, this time to end the game.

Missed Opportunities
Giants
2nd: runner on second, 2 out > Lee struck out
6th: runner on second, 2 out > Ramirez fouled out to first
7th: runner on second, 1 out > Abe grounded out and Lee grounded out
8th: runner on second, 2 out > Ogasawara IBB, runners on first and second, and Ramirez struck out

Fighters
1st: runners on first and second, 2 out > Sledge grounded out
4th: runners on first and second, 1 out > Tsuruoka hit a sac bunt, runners on second and third, Nioka grounded out
5th: runner on second, 1 out > Inaba struck out and Takahashi struck out
6th: runners on first and second, 2 out > Nioka grounded out
8th: runners on first and second, 2 out > pinch hitter Tsuboi grounded out
9th: runner on second, no out > Tanaka grounded out, runner to third, pinch hitter Inada walks, runners on first and third, Inaba struck out and pinch runner Konta took second, Takahashi struck out

Giants: 5 LOB, 0 DP
Fighters: 13 LOB, 1 DP

News
The Fighters outhit the Giants, 9-5. ... Tono was taken out of the game when he was hit by a come-backer to the mound in the first. ... The Fighters had at least one base runner in every inning. ... The Fighters retired the Giants in order 5 times.

Yomiuri Giants

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Tono, Shun 1 0 0 0 2/3 14 4 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
Utsumi, Tetsuya W 1 1 1 0 4 2/3 65 19 16 4 0 4 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 4.909
Toyoda, Kiyoshi H 2 0 0 0 2/3 10 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
Yamaguchi, Tetsuya H 3 1 0 0 1 11 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.588
Ochi, Daisuke H 2 0 0 0 2/3 19 4 3 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
Kroon, Marc S 2 0 0 3 1 1/3 22 6 5 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.700

Nippon Ham Fighters

Name G W L S IP NP BF AB H HR K BB HBP SHF WP BK R ER ERA
Takeda, Masaru L 1 0 2 0 7 2/3 88 30 27 6 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 1 2.634
Ejiri, Shintaro 2 0 0 0 1/3 4 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000
Hayashi, Masanori 4 0 0 0 1 10 3 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.000

===

...A TV announcement during the game mentioned that Tono went to the hospital during the game for x-rays.  A second announcement said that Tono's x-rays came back negative and that he was diagnosed with a bruise.  Tono was back at the stadium to celebrate with his teammates at the end of the game.

...Giants players tossed Tatsunori Hara up into the air 10 times to celebrate their Nippon Series victory.

...Had there been a game 7, Wirfin Obispo would have been the likely starter.

...The Fighters will refund ticket for Game 7 beginning on November 9th on through to the 30th.

...Shinnosuke Abe was awarded the 2009 Nippon Series MVP.

...The Giants will now take on KIA for the Japan - Korea Championship game on 11/14 in Nagasaki.

...The Giants won their first Nippon Series since 2002 and their 21st Nippon Series overall.

...The Giants will have a victory parade on 11/22.  The parade will begin at 10:15am from in front of Yomiuri Shimbun HQ and end at Ginza 8-chome (a distance of 3.1km).

...Tatsunori Hara on taking the Nippon Series:

You were tossed into the air 10 times...

I'm just really happy that we became the number 1 Japanese team.  The wonderful players under Nashida, the fans, to become Nippon Series champs, I take this victory with great pride.  On being thrown up in the air, I have no words to express my feelings.

You came through with your pre-season comment of recapturing the Series...

The players worked hard today.  And the fans rooted for us really hard.  It was a long season, but the fact that we were able to finish the year off with a championship proves that my confidence in this team wasn't wrong.  I was extremely touched to be tossed up in the air in front of Giants fans and Fighters fans.

On looking back on today's game...

We won this game using our usual pattern of winning.  I knew Kroon would close the game out for us.

Any last comments to the fans across Japan?

It was a long season, but we finished things off with a Championship.  Giants fans, we're Champions!

...Shinnosuke Abe on the Championships:

How are you feeling right now?

I feel great!

On playing in the Nippon Series as the Giants player's rep

It was a tough battle.  I conjured the bad series I had last year and used that as motivation.  I really think we won this championship as a team.  I'm grateful for the support from people behind the scenes and the cheering fans.

A comment for the fans...

We finally came through with a Championship.  Thank you for cheering for us until the very end.

Some hitting stats for the series so far

by on Nov.07, 2009 @ 6:34 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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Here are some batting stats for some of the key players through the first 5 games.

Yomiuri Giants

Shinnosuke Abe

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 19 3 6 4 .316 2 0 3 0

Tetsuya Matsumoto

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 20 2 6 1 .300 0 0 1 0

Alex Ramirez

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 20 2 6 3 .300 1 1 2 0

Michihiro Ogasawara

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 20 3 5 3 .250 1 1 3 1

Yoshiyuki Kamei

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 19 2 4 3 .211 2 0 1 1

Hayato Sakamoto

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 17 2 3 2 .176 0 2 4 4

Nippon Ham Fighters

Eiichi Koyano

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 20 3 8 5 .400 1 2 4 1

Yoshio Itoi

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
4 13 0 5 2 .385 0 1 3 2

Shinji Takahashi

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 21 5 8 5 .381 2 2 2 1

Terrmel Sledge

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 18 3 4 2 .222 1 1 5 3

Atsunori Inaba

G AB R H RBI AVG HR 2B SO BB
5 19 3 4 2 .211 2 0 4 3

Nippon Series: Line-ups for Game 6

by on Nov.07, 2009 @ 6:01 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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Yomiuri Giants

Sakamoto, Hayato (SS)
Matsumoto, Tetsuya (CF)
Ogasawara, Michihiro (3B)
Ramirez, Alex (DH)
Kamei, Yoshiyuki (RF)
Tani, Yoshitomo (LF)
Abe, Shinnosuke (C)
Lee, Seung-Yeop (1B)
Furuki, Shigeyuki (2B)

Tono, Shun (SP)

Nippon Ham Fighters

Tanaka, Kensuke (2B)
Morimoto, Hichori (LF)
Inaba, Atsunori (RF)
Takahashi, Shinji (1B)
Sledge, Terrmel (DH)
Koyano, Eiichi (3B)
Itoi, Yoshio (CF)
Tsuruoka, Shinya (C)
Nioka, Tomohiro (SS)

Takeda, Masaru (SP)

Yu Darvish to pitch in Game 7?

by on Nov.07, 2009 @ 2:39 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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The Nippon Ham Fighters appear to have decided on pitching Yu Darvish in Game 7.

"He definitely won't pitch in Game 6," said Masataka Nashida. "He is prepared to start Game 7.  If we need to limit his pitches, then we may bring him in relief."

Masato Yoshii added, "We've thought everything through for Game 7.  Rather that use [Darvish] in relief for Game 6, we thought it might be better to let him go all out in Game 7."

The only problem is that Darvish still doesn't really know where he is right now in terms of his condition.  And according to Nashida, he's feeling tightness in his right shoulder from relying on his upper body so much to throw.

The Fighters will make a final decision at some point later today.

Question: If the Fighters make it to Game 7, do you really risk further injury with Darvish just so that the team has a better shot at winning now?

Nippon Series News and Notes: TV Ratings for Game 5

by on Nov.07, 2009 @ 2:28 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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...More on the TV ratings for Game 5:

As mentioned before, the ratings for the Kanto area were 19.0%.

The high for the night was 31.2% (when Abe his hit home run in the 9th).

Ratings for last year's Game 5 were 20.2%.

The ratings for the Hokkaido area were 45.1%.

...Celebration venues?  If the Giants win the series, they will celebrate in the underground parking area at their hotel.  If the Fighters win the series, they will celebrate in the underground parking area at the Sapporo Dome.

Nippon Ham Fighters

...When Masataka Nashida was asked if he was still going to use Hisashi Takeda as the closer, he replied, "Show me a pitcher that can replace Hisashi! ... Those kinds of questions are disrespectful towards Hisashi."

...It looks like Makoto Kaneko won't be available for Game 6 either.

Yomiuri Giants

...Shun Tono is looking forward to his start tonight in Game 6 and considers it "an honor."  Tono made a relief appearance in Game 2 and tossed 3.1 shutout innings.

...Look for Tono to attack the inside portion of the plate.  He will be especially careful with Shinji Takahashi and Eiichi Koyano.

...Wirfin Obispo and Testuya Utsumi are two potential candidates to start a Game 7, if necessary.