Japan's playoffs move on to next stage, or just start
by Bob Timmermann
The defending champion Nippon Ham Fighters won Game 1 of the Pacific League's second statge of its "Climax Series" with a 5-2 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines at the Sapporo Dome. This series will be best of five.
The Central League started its first stage of its first ever "Climax Series" (OK, please stop laughing. You're adults. For the most part) and the Chunichi Dragons shut out the Hanshin Tigers 7-0 at the Nagoya Dome. This series is best of three. The Dragons can move on to face the Yomiuri Giants with a win OR tie against the Tigers Sunday.