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.
Brian Falkenborg was not available to pitch on Thursday.
Masahiko Morifuku needed just 11 pitches to get out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the 6th Wednesday night.
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
Daola successfully turned his back flip on Thursday. Youtube
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.
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.
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.