For most teams this past week, you could fold the schedule in half and see two very different results.
Case in point: the Yomiuri Giants swept the Hanshin Tigers at home, shutting them out the entire series (first time they have done so to the Tigers in 25 years), but then went in to Hiroshima and lost three straight and gave up plenty of runs in doing so. The Orix Buffaloes lost their first three games to the Seibu Lions, but after their manager, Norifumi Nishimura, stepped down mid-week, they won out the weekend. Adam Jones hit four home runs in those three games.
The Tigers also won their weekend series, putting up 16 runs in the process, and the Chunichi Dragons wreaked havoc on both the Yakult Swallows and the Yokohama DeNA BayStars. They find themselves in third place, just a game below .500 after a terrible start to their season. Veteran pitcher Yudai Ohno has now thrown four straight complete games, including a shutout on the weekend.
There were some extremely exciting games this past week, as well. Early in the week, the Marines gave up two runs in the top of the 10th inning against the SoftBank Hawks, and nearly hit into a game-ending triple play in the bottom half of the frame, but rallied to win the game. Leonys Martin crushed one to right, bringing himself and the remaining runner home to tie the game, and in the ensuing rally, scored the walk-off run on a wild pitch. The runner, veteran Takashi Toritani, was on second base before the pitch was thrown. The Marines went 3-0-1 to start that series, but much like the rest of the league, saw their fortunes reversed later in the week as they lost the weekend out.
The Rakuten Eagles also found themselves on the verge of losing on Thursday night. Down to their final out and having been shut out until that point, Hiroaki Shimauchi provided the heroics, hitting a three-run game-tying home run. The game ended in a draw, and they ultimately finished the week 2-3-1 against the Nippon-Ham Fighters.
Good week: Dragons (5-1)
Bad week: Swallows (2-4), Tigers (2-4)
Mediocre week: The other nine teams
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