Because Teruyo and I were in Hawaii for a few days’ vacation enjoying the beautiful sunsets and sunrises, it’s been a while since the last blog post. Sorry for that.
A few hours after we arrived, Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw his second no-hitter in two seasons. On the day we returned, the Hanshin Tigers clinched the pennant. I thought Jet lag and fatigue have since run their course for the most part, and after a busy night at the office Saturday, I was ready to get down to the real work, talking about baseball, but really struggled to get this out Sunday night, needing a nap half-way through after I got home and a shower.
With one pennant race decided and the other virtually in the bank, all the focus now is on whether the two fourth-place teams, the Central League’s Yomiuri Giants and the Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles can squeeze into the postseason.
Sunday offered no change to the playoff picture in either league as the three rivals for the two remaining PL playoff spots, the Eagles, Lotte Marines and SoftBank Hawks all lost, while the three CL contenders, the Hiroshima Carp, the DeNA BayStars and Yomiuri Giants, all won. Roki Sasaki pitched, but his outing was nothing to salivate over. Since Japan is celebrating its Respect for the Aged Day on Monday, Tsuyoshi Wada squared off against a pitcher half his age.
Giants 3, Swallows 2: At Tokyo Ugly Dome, Japan’s best home run-hitting team came from behind via the long ball on sixth-inning home runs from Yoshihiro Maru, his 17th, and Kazuma Okamoto, his Japan-leading 41st, off side-armer Reiji Kozawa, who’d allowed an infield single and two walks to that point.
Yakult took a 1-0 fourth-inning lead on Domingo Santana‘s 16th homer. Santana’s ninth-inning leadoff double off Taisei Ota (3-0) set up the tying run before Yuki Okada singled to open the Giants ninth off Noboru Shimizu (1-8), and scored after Makoto Kadowaki fouled off five two-strike pitches with two outs before lining a pitch past second.Continue reading Back to baseball: Sept. 17, 2023