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04/10/2009 Entry: "Japanese Season Off and Running"
Japanese Baseball Season Report: Opening weeks
Glenn Davies, Tokyo, Japan
The Pro-yakyu season is off and running here in Japan. In the Central league, the Chunichi Dragons signaled their intent early by sweeping the Yokohama Baystars in a three game series, but have dropped their last two to Yakult, who now sit in second. The Giants have started as they always do with lossesclosing 2 of 3 to the Hiroshima Carp in their opening series (tying the 3rd game), but then showed some form by sweeping the hapless Baystars this week. Hiroshima is in third at 3-2, then the Hanshin Tigers at 3-3, and finally the Baystars at 0-6. The Baystars have been outscored 5-42 in those six games and may be out of the race by Sundayc
The surmising Rakuten Eagles lead the Pacific League at 5-1, after pounding Nippon Ham and Softbank in their opening games. The Saitama Lions (Last years Champion) are in second at 3-3, as are the Softbank Hawks. The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the Chiba Lotte Marines are both at 2-3, while last seasons playoff surprise Orix Buffaloes have slumped to 2-4 and are back in the cellar.