Pacific League playoff dish is complete with some Ham
by Bob Timmermann
The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters wrapped up the last spot in Japan's Pacific League playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes on Sunday.
The top three teams in the PL make the playoffs. The second and third place teams will meet in a best of three with the winner facing the regular season champ in a four-game series where the regular season champ will be spotted a win.
Over in the Central League, the Chuninchi Dragons have seen their once formidable lead shrink to five games over the Hanshin Tigers. The Central League does have a longer season and Chunichi has 29 games left to play and second place Hanshin has 22. Chunichi has been rained out a lot on the road this year.
As I'll be heading to Japan for the second round of the PL playofffs, I will be left with some geographical challenges.
The three playoff qualifiers play all over the place. The Fighters play in Sapporo. The Seibu Lions play in Tokorazawa and the Softbank Hawks play in Fukuoka. (The arrows should point to the cities as Google Maps seems to use Japanese characters.)