NPB games, news of Sept. 28, 2019

The Hanshin Tigers have earned the right to play at least one more meaningful game after crushing the DeNA BayStars to stay alive in the Central League playoff race.

Central League

Tigers 7, BayStars 0

At Yokohama Stadium, Yuki Nishi threw five scoreless innings and four relievers kept DeNA on the backfoot in the BayStars’ last regular season game. If the Tigers win two more, they’ll be back in Yokohama next Saturday, otherwise DeNA will be seeing red when the Hiroshima Carp visit for the best-of-three CL climax series first stage.

Swallows 2, Giants 1, 10 innings

At Jingu Stadium, Yomiuri’s Shun Yamaguchi took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, but the only thing meaningful about this game was Shinnosuke Abe getting a rousing farewell from Giants and Swallows fans alike.

Pacific League

Hawks 3, Buffaloes 3, 12 innings

At Kyocera Dome, Rick van den Hurk allowed three runs over six innings in a postseason warm-up for SoftBank in an otherwise meaningless game that ended in a meaningless 12-inning tie.

I don’t mean to by nasty, but these are makeup games that have no bearing on anything. Call them nine inning ties. Instead of more baseball, let the fans come down to the front row of the stadium and meet the players in the teams’ final games of the year. Let them ask for autographs and take pictures and shake hands, instead of pretending the game result is important as opposed to an obligation.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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