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Seibu becomes first team to clinch playoff spot in Japan
2008-09-20 09:37
by Bob Timmermann
The Seibu Lions, who were rocked in the past seasons by a scouting scandal and the loss of its ace pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka, have become the first team in Japan to clinch a playoff spot.

The Lions wrapped up a spot in the Pacific League, which they lead with a 74-56-4 record, 6 games better than second place Orix (70-64-1), and 9 games better than third place Lotte (67-67-1). Fourth place Nippon Ham is (66-68-2) The top three teams make the playoffs. The season is 144 games long and ties are not replayed, so Seibu cannot finish with a worse record than Nippon Ham.

In the Central League, the Hanshin Tigers' once double digit games lead has been cut to one as the Yomiuri Giants have won nine straight to pull within one game (76-52-1 to 75-53-2). Both teams should wrap up playoff spots soon. The Hiroshima Carp are surprisingly in the three slot with a record 64-62-4, two games up the defending champion Chunichi Dragons at 62-64-5.

Both leagues playoffs start with the #2 and #3 teams playing a best of three series. The winner of that series plays the #1 team in a best of five series. The winners of each league face off in the Japan Series, a best of seven series, that will start on November 1, in the Central League champions home park.

2008-09-20 11:46:29
1.   Tripon
You can tie in Japanese baseball? Is there no extra innings at all then?
2008-09-20 11:53:42
2.   Bob Timmermann
They stop after 12 innings.

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