With 40 games left in the schedule (1/3 of the season), we probably should not say that no more meaningful baseball will be played again until November… but this is almost certainly the case. If a team other than the Giants, Hawks and Marines makes the postseason, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
Monday: Drew Verhagen of the Fighters threw eight innings of one-hit ball to lead his team past the Eagles 2-1, while Kota Futaki of the Marines blanked the Buffaloes, scattering three hits over nine innings.
Tuesday: The Buffaloes played in Kobe and wore throwback Orix BlueWave uniforms to celebrate 25 years since their pennant win. Ace starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw 8 innings of three-hit, nine-strikeout ball as the Buffaloes snapped their losing streak.
Wednesday: The Buffaloes continued their Kobe magic with a shutout win over the Eagles. Daiki Tajima threw the first complete-game shutout of his career for Orix’s first winning streak in ages. Eagles starter Hideaki Wakui has now gone four straight starts without a single run of support.
Thursday: The Tigers spanked the Giants 11-0 to put an end to the Giants’ nine-game winning streak. Yuki Nishi threw a complete game shutout, and the Tigers got a pair of homers from Koji Chikamoto as they earned their first win at Tokyo Dome in 2020 in nine tries.
Friday: Yusuke Ohyama of the Tigers hit homers in back-to-back at-bats, including a huge go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning, as the Tigers beat the Dragons 8-4 at Nagoya Dome.
Saturday: Neftali Soto of the Baystars hit his 100th career NPB home run in his 321st career game, which ties him for sixth quickest ever. The Giants lose their third straight game, with just one run scored during that stretch.
Sunday: Taiki Hamada, Norichika Aoki and Tetsuto Yamada went yard in the bottom of the first inning against the Carp. It was the first time in 25 years that a team has opened its scoring with back-to-back-to-back jacks. It was just the fifth such occurrence in NPB history.
Good week: Buffaloes (4-2), Swallows (4-2) *both remain in last place
Bad week: Marines (2-4), Tigers (2-4)
All the other teams went 3-3!