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07/03/2006 Archived Entry: "Japanese Baseball News: Weekly Update"

Japanese Baseball News: Weekly Update

Japanese Baseball News: The Monday Report By Glenn Davies,Tokyo Japan

Central League News
CLFLAG (2k image)The Dragons and Tigers crept further ahead of the pack this week and have solidified the 2-horse race look to the year in the CL.The Dragons went on an 8-2 tear to finish June and wiped the floor with the hapless Giants. Woods and Fukudome have provided the power with 18 and 15 HRs respectively and solid pitching from Kawakami (9-1 1.47) has been backed by their 2nd and 3rd starters in Kadokura (6-3 2.95) and Sato(6-0 1.41). The Tigers are looking to keep things interesting and were equally as hot over the last weeks of June. The Tigers however fell to the Giants in their first 2 games in July and will need to get their offense going after it combined for only 2 runs on 11 hits in the last 2 games. The Giants freefall finally stopped with those 2 wins but losing 10 in a row to end June has led many to say the Giants are out of the race already and questions have been raised about manager Hara's ability to motivate the troops. The Giants added former Hanshin Tiger favorite George Arias last week but will really need to look at their pitching if they want to slow the hurt. The Giants gave up 56 runs in the 10 game losing streak.
Pacific League News
PLFLAG (2k image)A new week a new leader at the top of the PL standings and indeed the top 3 have shuffled again. In fact only 4 games separate the 1st to 4th placed teams in what is becoming one of the best races to the pennant in recent memory. the fact that the top 3 also make the playoffs adds extra spice as last years champions find themselves in 4th with a .538 winning percentage- good enough for third in the CL-Interleague again proved the superior level of play in the PL. The Lions have been/looked the most consistent and likely to score behind the offense of Canseco look-alike Cabrera (.338 20 59) and RBI machines Wada (.282 9 56)and Nakajima(.299 14 50).Matsuzaka (9-2 2.05), Gissel (4-0 2.79)and Wakui (9-4 2.41) have provided the kind of rotation that wins in the postseason.The Hawks, Fighters and Marines remain in the hunt. The Fighters had the best of the last weeks with a 8-2 record in their last 10 and rookie starter Tomoya Yagi (8-3 2.48)continues to shine.
Batting Leaders





4HigashideCarp.315235074Fernandez Eagles.3142771951
Pitching Leaders




 2006 Standings


Chunichi Dragons41283.594-Seibu Lions44321.579-
Hanshin Tigers41312.5691.5Softbank Hawks45331.5770.0
Yakult Swallows37370.5006.5Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters42350.5452.5
Yomiuri Giants36392.4808.0Chiba Lotte Marines42360.5383.0
Hiroshima Carp31384.44910.0Orix Buffaloes31451.40813.0
Yokohama Bay Stars29432.40313.5Rakuten Eagles28500.35917.0

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