The Orix Buffaloes, the jokes of the Pacific League for much of the last two decades, beat a good SoftBank Hawks team to book their second straight trip to the Japan Series against the Yakult Swallows, who earned their berth on Friday.
We also had more managing news as Hanshin waited less than 24 hours since their playoff exit to announce their new old manager, while Kodai Senga began singing “Free at last, Free at last,” and Shintaro Fujinami asked why some players find it so hard to leave Japan.
The Buffaloes and Eagles went into Monday’s games poised to sweep their series and completely throw the PL pennant race in complete disarray, while DeNA played the Giants in the only CL game that was not disrupted by a typhoon, and needing a win to shave a half-game off the idle Yakult Swallows’ lead.
Let’s get to ‘em.
Buffaloes 5, Hawks 4, 10 innings: At Osaka Dome, Masataka Yoshida drove in four runs, including two with a first-inning home run, his 19th, off Nao Higashihama, who allowed four in two-plus innings. Yoshida’s third-inning RBI single made it 4-0 and chased the Hawks starter.