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Hanshin's Collapse Complete

Discussion in the NPB News forum
Hanshin's Collapse Complete
With today's 3-1 victory, the Giants now have sole possession of first place in the Central League. (Has anyone other than Hanshin held sole possession this year? I want to say Yakult did in the first week of the season, but maybe they held just a share.) But with this game, the Tigers have finally turned what was a 13-game lead on July 9th into a 1-game deficit.

Hanshin would need to run the table, and they would need two losses from the Giants, who play at home against Yokohama and then @Yakult for two. Hanshin plays @Yokohama twice and then plays a lame-duck Dragons team (who will no doubt be resting their players for the playoffs) on Sunday.
Comments
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 10:27 AM ]

Is this the biggest choke in NPB history? Blowing a 13 game lead is monumental.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest: zman | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 1:58 PM ]

This is why we are Tiger fans. Last year they made a huge run and this year the opposite. The Tigers are never predictable.

In the end the massive amount of spending that the YGs ran up in the off season to get Rami, Kroon, and others is now paying off. I doubt that the Tigers can derail them but perhaps the Dragons can if they make it past the Tigers.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 2:55 PM ]

- Has anyone other than Hanshin held sole possession this year?

Yakult started strong, but I think Hanshin won their first 6 or 7, so they always had at least a share of first. Even with 13 games, I was never completely confident. I am a Tigers and Red Sox fan after all. I felt that the Tigers were playing over their heads and that if the Giants got healthy and clicking they could make a great run. Unfortunately, I was right.

The past few years, Hanshin has indeed shown themselves to be a team of streaks. So, our only hope now is to get hot at the right time. The right time meaning now.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 9:35 PM | YBS Fan ]

- Has anyone other than Hanshin held sole possession this year? I want to say Yakult did in the first week of the season, but maybe they held just a share.

Very good timing for this questions. For in today's (October 9, 2008) Nikkan Sports (paper version), it states that the Tigers have let the league from Opening Day, only to lose the spot on their 141st game of the season. That prevents Hanshin from becoming the 5th team in NPB history to go the entire season in first place. The four teams who succeeded were:
    Year Games Team
(S)1938 35 Osaka Tigers
1953 125 Yomiuri Giants
1962 133 Toei Flyers
1997 137 Yakult Swallows
I remember the Swallows doing it in 1997. September came along and the BayStars started mounting a comeback. But then Ishii Kazuhisa (now with the Lions) threw a no-hitter against Yokohama. After that the BayStars pretty much folded, allowing the Swallows to run away with the Central League.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Oct 9, 2008 9:46 PM ]

Our only hope is that the Swallows play spoiler again, just like they did against us this week! Remember, the Swallows started the season with a sweep of the Giants. Is it too much to ask of them to repeat that?
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: No.1BayFan | Posted: Oct 10, 2008 9:04 AM | YOK Fan ]

Well Yokohama has started the spoiler party with an 8-4 win over our "beloved" Giants. I don't know why they can't win during the main part of the season at the Tokyo Dome but on the last game of the year there they come out and win it. As anyways, it's not over till it's over and I can feel something brewing at old Jingu Stadium. Too bad I won't be able to go to Jingu this weekend.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest: Number 26 | Posted: Oct 11, 2008 5:24 PM ]

When Hanshin lost some of their key players to the Olympics Hanshin was not able to play their style of baseball. And even after the Olympics Hanshin was not able to find the same rhythm as pre-Olympics. I think the Olympics played a role.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: number9 | Posted: Oct 11, 2008 7:31 PM ]

Tigers, Dragons, and Lions all seemed to suffer from post-Olympics slowdowns. Maybe there is something to it.
Re: Hanshin's Collapse Complete
[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Oct 11, 2008 11:16 PM ]

Yeah, the Olympics was one problem. Kanemoto was really comfortable with Arai batting before him and the team suffered without this combination when Arai had the Olympics and long injury. Without Arai, Okada started juggling the line-up too much, which is never a good thing.

It's funny, lots of players had great individual years. Kanemoto's numbers were way back up. Akahoshi was a true lead-off hitter again. Sekimoto had a career year. But it takes a team to win championships, and Hanshin isn't a good one right now.
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