Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hiroshima 6--Yakult 3

The Swallows have been playing quite well as of late, but the result of this afternoon's game just shows you how even the teams in the Central league are this year. Chunichi is in first, but they haven't exactly been drilling everyone into the ground this season. They've just been slightly more consistent than the rest of the division.

Hiroshima and Yokohama, the two teams bringing up the rear this season, can take any of the other teams in the division down on any given night (as is evidenced by the fact that the Baystars are currently up 12 to 6 against the Giants at the ugly egg next to Suidobashi station.)

Hiroshima undid Yakult's momentum by holding the first three batters in our order hitless. It was a bit of a disappointment, it reduced us to 8 wins and 2 losses in our last 10 games, but hopefully we'll have our bats working again tomorrow evening. As long as the Giants don't wake up from the beating that they're currently enduring, we'll be able to hold on to sole possession of second place.

...............

Furuta sent one yard, his first in a while, and many probably saw it as a bit of a celebratory blast. He finally got a couple more concessions from the owners as the voluntary leader of the players union, and the strike's damage has been limited to only one weekend of games. The Kintetsu-Orix merger will go ahead as planned, and a new team will be allowed to enter the league in order to bump the number of teams in the Pacific division back up to six. The new team will reportedly have first dibs on the players given up by the two teams that are being merged.

On a separate note: Furuta definitely deserves the league MVP honors this year! He's 39, has hit well above .320 all season, is a CATCHER!!, and marshalled a common voice from the players in order to pressure the owners into some concessions. As I said before, he volunteers as the spokesman for the player's union, and I've never seen a player get so much love from opposing fans every time he steps on the field.


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