It took three games longer than I thought it would, but the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks finally managed to win one at home and took Game 7 of the Nippon Series, shutting out the Chunichi Dragons 3-0.
Chunichi's relief failed to do what Morifuku Masahiko did in Nagoya, hold the opposition scoreless with the bases loaded and nobody out. Granted, the Hawks only managed one run out of the deal, but they did strike first. They got their second run when Matsunaka Nobuhiko, who suffers from chronic knee trouble, scored from second on a base hit to right. Two runs are as many as Chunichi has been able to muster in any of the games this Series. Then the Hawks added another insurance run when Kawasaki Munenori scored on a double up the middle by Uchikawa Seiichi, the Hawks finally scoring off of Asao Takuya, who had been lights out this Series (and during the season).
Sugiuchi threw 7 complete innings, 113 pitches, just allowing 3 hits. Brian Falkenborg threw the 8th and started the 9th, but was hit by a comebacker and taken out of the game. Morifuku got the next two outs, then Settsu Tadashi come in and struck out slugger Wada Kazuhiro swinging to end the game.
The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks are the 2011 Japan champions, taking Game 7, 3-0.
[Also posted to Google+
where I tend to write more often these days.]