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TBS received about 150 complaints regarding their coverage of the Nippon Series

by on Nov.22, 2011 @ 4:32 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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The media learned on Monday that TBS received about 150 complaints from its viewers regarding their coverage of game 7 of the Nippon Series (like how they cut coverage in the middle of Koji Akiyama's post-game interview).

Coincidence?  What may be more interesting to know is that the TV program shown immediately after the Series was a serial drama (sixth episode) that pulled in TV ratings of 19.1% in the Kanto region.  That same drama was seeing a steady decline in ratings since its first episode on 10/16 (first episode: 22.2%, second episode: 19.0%, third episode: 16.9%, fourth episode: 15.8%, and fifth episode: 13.2%).

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Postseason News and Notes: Interesting facts and figures [11/21/2011]

by on Nov.22, 2011 @ 12:40 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Softbank Hawks

Estimated economic impact of the Hawks winning the Nippon Series for Fukuoka - about 38.8B yen.  Of that, 23.7 yen will be through store sales and 9.6B yen will be through things like transportation for tourists and food sales.

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Koji Akiyama's father was at Yahoo Dome to watch game 7 in person.  He also brought along with him a photo of his wife that passed away on 8/10.

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The Hawks' combined team ERA of 1.11 set a new record for a 7-game Series.  Akiyama also became the 19th manager to win a Nippon Series in his first appearance.

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Sadaharu Oh's comments on the Hawks winning the Nippon Series (via Sanspo):

It was the team's first Nippon Series in 8 years...

It was a great battle.  They showed their mettle by working together.  It was great.

The Series went to 7 games...

It was an exciting Series.  And the team that was the most persistent ended up becoming Japan's number 1 team.

This is the first time the team has won a Nippon Series since you became chairman.

It's been eight years?  The owner was really happy too.  I think I may have been able to give back a little.

[Koji] Akiyama did it in his third year as manager...

They have gotten stronger over the years and are now a wonderful team.

Teams will be chasing the Hawks next season...

I can't stop thinking about next season.  We want to work on expanding the abilities of the team.  We'd like to see that happen with the players as well.

Chunichi Dragons

The Dragons set new Nippon Series lows, for a seven game series, in hitting (.155), hits (34), runs (9), total bases (48), and RBI (9).

They also have the third lowest team ERA for a losing team in Series history.  The two teams with better ERAs that lost the Nippon Series: the 1954 Nishitetsu Lions had a 1.80 ERA and the 1987 Yomiuri Giants had a 2.08 ERA.

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Hitoki Iwase extended his scoreless innings streak to 17.2 and set a new record for consecutive scoreless innings, beginning with his first appearance.

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Hiromitsu Ochiai may have earned about 23.6M yen over the 20 additional days he was manager of the team this month (his contract ran out in October).  He's also apparently going to earn 2M yen for appearing at the team CL championship parade.

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TV Ratings for the 2011 Nippon Series

by on Nov.21, 2011 @ 2:18 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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TV ratings for all 7 games of the 2011 Nippon Series have been announced as follows:

Game 1 (Fuji TV)

12:50 - end
Kanto Region - 9.2%
Nagoya Region - 18.5%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 25.8%

Game 2 (Tokyo TV)

18:00 - 18:59
Kanto Region - 7.0%
Nagoya Region - 16.6%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 23.5%

19:00 - end
Kanto Region - 9.1%
Nagoya Region - 21.6%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 32.1%

Game 3 (Fuji TV)

18:00 - end
Kanto Region - 11.4%
Nagoya Region - 25.9%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 31.8%

Game 4 (TBS)

18:30 - end
Kanto Region - 12.2%
Nagoya Region - 25.4%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 33.7%

Gmae 5 (TV Tokyo)

18:00 - 18:59
Kanto Region - 6.7%
Nagoya Region - 12.2%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 20.6%

19:00 - end
Kanto Region - 10.6%
Nagoya Region - 15.9%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 34.0%

Game 6 (TV Asahi)

18:11 - end
Kanto Region - 14.1%
Nagoya Region - 23.4%
Northern Region of Kyushu - 37.2%

Game 7 (TBS)

18:30 - end
Kanto region, TBS - 18.9%, topped out at 35.8% at 10:04pm
Nagoya region - 27.4%, topped out at 39.6% at 9:55pm and 9:57pm
Northern region of Kyushu - 44.4%, topped out at 62.6% at 10:07pm and 10:08pm (around the time Akiyama was tossed into the air).

Note: additional data for Game 7 taken from Daily Sports.

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Softbank Hawks are this year’s Nippon Series Champions!

by on Nov.20, 2011 @ 11:14 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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The Softbank Hawks won their 5th Nippon Series Championship by downing the Chunichi Dragons, 3-0. Koji Akiyama was tossed into the air 8 times by his players. And Horoki Kokubo became the first 40-year-old player to win a Nippon Series MVP (the previous high of 37 was held by Akiyama).

Winning Manager's Interview

Post-game interview with Koji Akiyama, via Daily Sports:

You won the Nippon Series you were shooting for since spring camp.  How do you feel right now?

Honestly, I feel tired.  We played a really long season and the Nippon Series went to 7 games and it was close game after close game.  The players did a really great job.

You won this game 3-0.  It was a pretty tight game.

Chunichi has good pitchers so we couldn't score a lot of runs, but our pitchers were also really tough.  I had a feeling things would turn out this way.

You held Chunichi to no more than 2 runs each game.

I think we have the best pitching staff in the NPB.

[Brian] Falkenborg pitched into the 9th and left [after taking a line drive off his left elbow].  You then brought in [Masahiko] Morifuku, followed by [Tadashi] Settsu.

It's a short series so I wanted to use the hot hands.  And everyone did what they were supposed to do.

You'll be representing Japan at the Asia Series.

But before that, we started the season after the horrific March 11 earthquake / tsunami.  The 12 NPB teams pulled together and tried to inspire courage.  The result of that: a Nippon Series that went a full seven games.  I think we were able to inspire both strength and courage.  I'm sure tough times are still ahead for us, regardless, I'd like to continue giving back through pro yakyu.

Awards

Nippon Series MVP Hiroki Kokubo (8-for-25)
Outstanding Player Toshiya Sugiuchi (SOF)
Brian Falkenborg (SOF)
Kazuhiro Wada (CHU)
Fighting Bravely Kazuki Wada (CHU)

Konami Awards

Minnade Erabu Konami Sho 1st 206,127 votes Uchikawa, Seiichi
2nd 161,672 votes Asao, Takuya
3rd 146,989 votes Morifuku, Masahiko
Dream Nine Sho 1st 200,866 votes Uchikawa, Seiichi
2nd 156,876 votes Asao, Takuya
3rd 144,290 votes Morifuku, Masahiko
Baseball Heroes Sho 1st 5,130 votes Uchikawa, Seiichi
2nd 4,248 votes Asao, Takuya
3rd 3,926 votes Kawasaki, Munenori

NOTE: you can find more information about the Konami Awards here.

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UPDATE 11/21 @ 1:40am - Team owner Masayoshi Son took part in the celebrations after the game (he was also tossed into the air by players, immediately after Akiyama.

The team went through a total 3,400 bottles of beer and soda during their celebrations.

Sanspo has posted images from game 7.

Chunichi fans also gave Hiromitsu Ochiai a nice round of applause when the team did their rounds along the third base side after the awards ceremony.  Akiyama also dropped by in front of the dugout to pay his respects.

Celebration Sales

Stores in Fukuoka will be running sales to celebrate the Hawks' Nippon Series victory.

Daimaru Peacock Fukuoka Tenjin - three day sale beginning on 11/21.

Iwataya Honten - two day sale beginning on 11/21.

Hakata Hankyu - three day sale beginning on 11/21.

Aeon and Daiei stores will also be holding sales.

Even though the Chunichi Dragons lost, stores in Nagoya will also be holding sales:

JR Nagoya Takashimaya - Good Fight Sale for a seven day period beginning on 11/21.

Nagoya Mitsukoshi - five day sale beginning on 11/21.

Matsuzakaya Nagoya - three day sale that begins on 11/21.

Postseason News and Notes: Interesting facts and figures [11/20/2011]

by on Nov.20, 2011 @ 5:02 pm, under NPB
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General

There have been 20 Nippon Series that have gone to game seven, the latest being 2008 between Seibu and Yomiuri.

For the Dragons, this would be the 3rd time they have gone to seven games during the Nippon Series:

1954: W-W-L-L-W-L-W
2004: L-W-L-W-W-L-L
2011: W-W-L-L-L-W-?

And for the Hawks, the 4th time:

1955: L-W-W-W-L-L-L
1964: W-L-L-W-L-W-W
2003: W-W-L-L-L-W-W
2011: L-L-W-W-W-L-?

This is also the first time in Nippon Series history where the road team has won 6 times in a row.  The previous record of 5 was set during the 2000 series between Yomiuri and Daiei (games 1-5).

Softbank Hawks

The Hawks have prepared 3,000 bottles of beer and 400 cans of soda.  If the Hawks win, they will hold their celebrations somewhere inside Yahoo Dome.

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Yesterday's start may have been Tsuyoshi Wada's last in a Hawks' uniform.

Chunichi Dragons

Kazuki Yoshimi told reporters on Saturday night that he'll be ready to pitch tonight, if needed.

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The Dragons are the first team to score 2 or fewer runs in 6 straight Nippon Series games.  The previous high of 5 was set by the Nankai Hawks during the 1953 Series (games 3-7).  They also became the second team to record three Nippon Series victories by scoring 2 or fewer runs (games 1, 2, and 6).  The other team: the Seibu Lions during the 1992 Series (games 2, 4, and 7).

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Kazuhiro Wada recorded his 4th game-winning Nippon Series RBI on Saturday.  At 39 years and 5 months, he also became the older player to hit a triple during the Nippon Series.  The previous record of 37 years and 5 months was set by Masahiro Arai during the game 3 of the 1989 Series.

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Hitoki Iwase extended his Nippon Series scoreless games streak to 19 (16.2 innings) on Saturday.

And while Iwase is still quite a bit a ways from breaking the Nippon Series record for consecutive scoreless innings (29 innings held by Takashi Nishimoto), he is just 0.2 innings away from breaking the Series record for consecutive scoreless innings beginning with their first appearance (17 held by Hideo Fujimoto).

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Takuya Asao recorded a save last night on 3 pitches.  That ties the Nippon Series record for saves with the fewest number of pitches.  It was also just the 4th time a pitcher recorded a save during the Nippon Series after facing just 1 batter.

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The Dragons have prepared two barrels of sake and around 2,000 bottles of beer.  If the Dragons win, they will hold their celebrations at a hotel in Fukuoka.

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Postseason News and Notes: Possible game 7 starters

by on Nov.20, 2011 @ 1:34 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Potential Starters

According to Sponichi: The Softbank Hawks will likely start Toshiya Sugiuchi on Sunday.  Tadashi Settsu and D.J. Houlton will probably be available to pitch out of the bullpen again.  The Chunichi Dragons could counter with Daisuke Yamai.

Softbank Hawks

Munenori Kawasaki's 8-game postseason hitting streak came to an end on Saturday -- he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

Chunichi Dragons

Hiromitsu Ochiai turned to Hitoki Iwase in the bottom of the 8th (runner on first, 2 out) for the first time this year.

Winning Manager's Interview

Post-game interview with Hiromitsu Ochiai, via Daily Sports:

The series is now tied 3-3 and you are now one victory away from winning it all.

Tomorrow will be the last game of the 2011 season.  This is really it.  And the players are the reason we have come this far.

You lost three in a row at Nagoya Dome and you mentioned you had a feeling that you weren't going to win the Series at home.

That was a gut feeling.  This Series...  I wonder what it is...  It's not like I have supernatural abilities, but when I see them playing here they really look alive.

Yoshimi pitched a great game.

I think he did much better than his last start at Yahoo Dome.  He did lead the league in wins and he was our main support beam this year.  And Asao and Iwase also kept it going.

You went Iwase and Asao, in that order, today.

Regarding these two, order doesn't really matter.  If you're thinking about winning, I think this was the right way to go.

Tomorrow is the decisive game.

It's the last game so I want [my players] to play without any regrets.

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Postseason News and Notes: Houlton, Settsu will be available to pitch tonight

by on Nov.19, 2011 @ 5:53 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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Softbank Hawks

D.J. Houlton and Tadashi Settsu will both be available to pitch out of the bullpen tonight.

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There is a good chance Nobuhiko Matsunaka will be batting 5th as the starting DH tonight.

Chunichi Dragons

Hiromitsu Ochiai was seen giving Motonobu Tanishige advice during BP on Friday -- Ochiai watched Tanishige take some BP and then spent about 5 minutes working with him directly.

"Maybe if I can start hitting, I can help the team get on a roll," said Tanishige.  He then added, "He has watched me when I have hit well and when I have not hit well.  And he told me where he thought I was right now."

Tanishige is currently hitless over his last 36 straight postseason at bats.

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The Dragons may put Naomichi Donoue at third, Masahiko Morino at first, and Tony Blanco at DH.

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Postseason News and Notes: Possible game 6 starters

by on Nov.19, 2011 @ 3:50 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Potential Starters

The Softbank Hawks will likely start Tsuyoshi Wada while the Chunichi Dragons will most likely go with Kazuki Yoshimi.

Softbank Hawks

When reporters approached Koji Akiyama to comment on whether or not Nobuhiko Matsunaka was ready to be used in the starting line-up, he replied, "He has been running since before.  The question is, can you slide.  I am sure there is also some concerns [about re-injury]."

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Yuichi Honda turns 27 on Saturday.  Said Honda, "I am usually at [fall] camp at this time of year but I am happy because I will be playing baseball this year.  I would like to celebrate by delivering the decisive blow."

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Brian Falkenborg told reporters on Friday that he was ready to pitch and could even go 2 innings on Saturday if necessary.

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Both the Hawks and Chunichi Dragons spent most of their time taking BP on Friday.

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Postseason News and Notes: Yu Darvish will be in the broadcast booth for game 6

by on Nov.18, 2011 @ 3:59 pm, under NPB, Postseason
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General

Yu Darvish and Hideki Kuriyama will be guests in the broadcast booth for game 6 (TV Asahi).

Softbank Hawks

3,117 fans showed up for the public viewing event at Yahoo Dome on Thursday.  After the game, Hiroki Yamada called out to the fans, via phone hook-up, and said, "We'll wrap this up in Fukuoka!"  Fireworks were also part of the celebrations.

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Hiroki Kokubo has continued to hit well since being move up to the clean-up spot on 11/15:

NS: 11/17 (4th) - 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
NS: 11/16 (4th) - 2-for-4, 1 RBI
NS: 11/15 (4th) - 2-for-4, 1 double, 2 SO
NS: 11/13 (5th) - 2-for-4, 1 double, 1 SO
NS: 11/12 (5th) - 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 SO
CL: 11/5 (6th) - 1-for-4, 1 SO
CL: 11/4 (6th) - 1-for-2, 1 BB
CL: 11/3 (6th) - 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO

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The Hawks are planning on preparing 3,000 bottle of beer and 400 bottles of soda for their celebrations.

Chunichi Dragons

Hiromitsu Ochiai was seen traveling to Fukuoka with his wife Friday morning.

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Sanspo notes how some fans started to leave the game after Junichi Kawahara hit a batter with the bases loaded and allowed the third run to score in the top of the 8th.

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Postseason News and Notes: Based on past Nippon Series games, Softbank has 68% chance to win

by on Nov.18, 2011 @ 2:12 am, under NPB, Postseason
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Softbank Hawks

According to previous Nippon Series results, 22 teams have won a game 5 after being in a 2-2 tie.  Of those 22 teams, 15 have gone on to win the Series.

This is also the 4th time that a team won 3 in a row after losing the first 2 in a row.  And of the other three times, the 1979 Hiroshima Carp and 2000 Yomiuri Giants went on to win it all.  The 2003 Hanshin Tigers didn't.

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Brian Falkenborg was not available to pitch on Thursday.

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Masahiko Morifuku needed just 11 pitches to get out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the 6th Wednesday night.

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Munenori Kawasaki has hit safely in all 8 postseason games so far.

11/17 - 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 double, 2 SO
11/16 - 2-for-4, 1 R
11/15 - 1-for-5
11/13 - 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO
11/12 - 2-for-5, 2 SO
11/5 - 1-for-5, 1 SO
11/4 - 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 triple, 1 BB, 1 SO
11/3 - 2-for-3, 1 HBP

Chunichi Dragons

Daola successfully turned his back flip on Thursday. Youtube

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Nikkan Sports is carrying Hiromitsu Ochiai's comments after Thursday's loss:

We lost all three games we can [afford] to lose.  Our players always get serious when they're backed into a corner.  That's how we managed to make it here.  I got the feeling we weren't going to win at home.  I'm looking forward to Fukuoka.

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Masaaki Koike injured his left arm when he made a leaping catch up against the right field wall in the top of the 4th inning.

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Motonobu Tanishige is now hitless in his last 34 straight postseason plate appearances.

Winning Manager's Interview

Post-game interview with Koji Akiyama, via Daily Sports:

You lost 2 in a row at home and now 3 in a row on the road...

Yeah, that's what the results say.  The players have worked hard each and ever game and that has turned into winning.

The team managed to score 5 runs...

Scoring the first run of the game was really important.  And [Hiroki] Yamada came up big for us by pitching better than I was hoping for.

You brought in [Tadashi] Settsu [after Yamada]...

He's got experience.  He also wanted to pitch and he put his heart into it.  He did a nice job.

You're one game away from winning [the Nippon Series]...

I don't think this will end that easily.  We'll continue take play it one game at a time and focus on winning our next game.

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