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2008 in Japanese Baseball

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2008 in Japanese baseball

Contents

[edit] Nippon Professional Baseball

The 2008 Japanese baseball season was a return to tradition in a sense. After the Chiba Lotte Marines won their first title in 2005, the Nippon Ham Fighters followed suit in 2006, then the Chunichi Dragons won their first in over 50 years in 2007. The 2008 Japan Series, by contrast, featured the two most successful franchies in Nippon Pro Baseball history, the Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions, with Seibu winning out.

Yomiuri had stocked up on free agents in the off-season and for once, the moves paid off after many celebrated free agent failures in their past. Alex Ramirez led the Central League in RBI and won MVP honors, Seth Greisinger led the league in wins and Marc Kroon led in saves. All had come from other CL teams. Ramirez also became the all-time leader for career hits by a foreign player in NPB, breaking the mark held by Wally Yonamine for over 50 years.

Tomoaki Kanemoto and Masahiro Yamamoto joined the meikyukai this year, with Kanemoto reaching 2,000 hits and Yamamoto 200 wins.

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates league champion; Italics indicate Nippon Series winner; * indicates playoff team

[edit] Central League

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Yomiuri Giants* 144 84 57 3 .596 -- 631 532 .266 .322 .428 3.37 Tatsunori Hara
Hanshin Tigers* 144 82 59 3 .582 2.0 578 521 .268 .335 .373 3.29 Akinobu Okada
Chunichi Dragons* 144 71 68 5 .511 12.0 535 556 .253 .316 .392 3.53 Hiromitsu Ochiai
Hiroshima Toyo Carp 144 69 70 5 .496 14.0 537 594 .271 .322 .375 3.78 Marty Brown
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 144 66 74 4 .471 17.5 583 569 .266 .331 .374 3.75 Shigeru Takada
Yokohama BayStars 144 48 94 2 .338 36.5 552 706 .266 .316 .406 4.74 Akihiko Oya

[edit] Pacific League

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Saitama Seibu Lions* 144 76 64 4 .543 -- 715 626 .270 .330 .453 3.86 Hisanobu Watanabe
Orix Buffaloes* 144 75 68 1 .524 2.5 637 605 .262 .329 .420 3.93 Terry Collins/Daijiro Oishi
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters* 144 73 69 2 .514 4.0 533 541 .255 .316 .366 3.54 Masataka Nashida
Chiba Lotte Marines 144 73 70 1 .510 4.5 662 648 .268 .335 .416 4.14 Bobby Valentine
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 144 65 76 3 .461 11.5 627 607 .272 .340 .385 3.89 Katsuya Nomura
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 144 64 77 3 .454 12.5 556 641 .255 .317 .385 4.05 Sadaharu Oh

[edit] Leaders

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record

[edit] Batting

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
Batting Average Seiichi Uchikawa Yokohama BayStars .378 Rick Short Rakuten Golden Eagles .332
Runs Norihiro Akahoshi Hanshin Tigers 94 Takeya Nakamura Seibu Lions 90
Hits Seiichi Uchikawa Yokohama BayStars 189 Takumi Kuriyama
Yasuyuki Kataoka
Seibu Lions
Seibu Lions
167
Doubles Seiichi Uchikawa Yokohama BayStars 37 Jose Fernandez Rakuten Golden Eagles 40
Triples Kazuki Fukuchi
Yasushi Iihara
Yakult Swallows
Yakult Swallows
7 Nobuhiro Matsuda Softbank Hawks 10
Home Runs Shuichi Murata Yokohama BayStars 46 Takeya Nakamura Seibu Lions 46
Runs Batted In Alex Ramirez Yomiuri Giants 125 Tuffy Rhodes Orix Buffaloes 118
Stolen Bases Kazuki Fukuchi Yakult Swallows 42 Yasuyuki Kataoka Seibu Lions 50
Walks Tyrone Woods Chunichi Dragons 78 Tuffy Rhodes Orix Buffaloes 95

[edit] Pitching

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
ERA Masanori Ishikawa Hanshin Tigers 2.68 Hisashi Iwakuma Rakuten Golden Eagles 1.87
Wins Seth Greisinger Yomiuri Giants 17 Hisashi Iwakuma Rakuten Golden Eagles 21
Losses Kan Otake Hiroshima Carp 13 Ryan Glynn Nippon Ham Fighters 14
Saves Marc Kroon Yomiuri Giants 41 Daisuke Kato Orix Buffaloes 33
Save Points Kyuji Fujikawa Hanshin Tigers 46 Tadahiro Ogino
Daisuke Kato
Chiba Lotte Marines
Orix Buffaloes
35
Innings Pitched Seth Greisinger Yomiuri Giants 206 Hisashi Iwakuma Orix Buffaloes 201 2/3
Appearances Tomoyuki Kubota Hanshin Tigers 69 Kanehisa Arime Rakuten Golden Eagles 66
Hits Allowed Seth Greisinger Yomiuri Giants 201 Shunsuke Watanabe Chiba Lotte Marines 195
Home Runs Allowed Daisuke Miura Yokohama BayStars 22 Brian Sweeney Nippon Ham Fighters 22
Strikeouts Colby Lewis Hiroshima Carp 163 Toshiya Sugiuchi Softbank Hawks 213
Base-on-Balls Tetsuya Utsumi Yomiuri Giants 68 Brian Sweeney Nippon Ham Fighters 72

[edit] All-Star Game

The NPB All-Star Games featured two games and was split. The first game was played at Kyocera Dome and was won by the Pacific League, 5-4. The second game was played at Yokohama Stadium and was won by the Central League, 11-6. Takeshi Yamasaki was game one MVP and Masahiro Araki was game two MVP.

[edit] Postseason

In the Pacific League Climax Series first stage, the Nippon Ham Fighters downed the Orix Buffaloes 2 games to 0. In the second stage, the Seibu Lions beat the Fighters 4 games to 2.

In the Central League Climax Series first stage, the Chunichi Dragons beat the Hanshin Tigers 2 games to 1. Yomiuri then beat Chunichi 3 games to 1 with one tie.

In the Japan Series, the Seibu Lions (PL) defeated the Yomiuri Giants (CL) in seven games, in a rematch of the 2002 Japan Series with the opposite team winning. It was Seibu's 10th title. The winning manager was Hisanobu Watanabe. The MVP was Takayuki Kishi.

[edit] Award Winners

The winner of the 2008 Sawamura Award was Hisashi Iwakuma of the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He had a 21-4 win-loss record, 159 strikeouts, and a 1.87 ERA in 201.7 innings, leading the Pacific League in wins and ERA while pitching for a 5th-place team. He tied Masahiro Tanaka for third in the PL in strikeouts to miss out on a pitching Triple Crown.

Award League Player Team Position AB R H HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG W - L SV IP HA HRA BB SO ERA
Most Valuable Player CL Alex Ramirez Yomiuri Giants OF 548 84 175 45 125 1 .319 .373 .617 Did not pitch
PL Hisashi Iwakuma Rakuten Golden Eagles P 7 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 21 - 4 0 201.7 161 3 36 159 1.87
Rookie of the Year CL Tetsuya Yamaguchi Yomiuri Giants P 5 0 1 0 0 0 .200 .200 .200 11 - 2 2 73.7 61 3 12 69 2.32
PL Satoshi Komatsu Orix Buffaloes P 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 15 - 3 0 172.3 134 14 42 151 2.51

[edit] Best Nine

The following players were part of the 2008 Best Nine teams.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Seth Greisinger Yomiuri Giants P Hisashi Iwakuma Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Toru Hosokawa Seibu Lions
Seiichi Uchikawa Yokohama BayStars 1B Alex Cabrera Orix Buffaloes
Akihiro Higashide Hiroshima Carp 2B Yasuyuki Kataoka Seibu Lions
Shuichi Murata Yokohama BayStars 3B Takeya Nakamura Seibu Lions
Takashi Toritani Hanshin Tigers SS Hiroyuki Nakajima Seibu Lions
Alex Ramirez Yomiuri Giants OF Takumi Kuriyama Seibu Lions
Tomoaki Kanemoto Hanshin Tigers Rick Short Rakuten Golden Eagles
Norichika Aoki Yakult Swallows Atsunori Inaba Nippon Ham Fighters
DH Tuffy Rhodes Orix Buffaloes

[edit] Gold Gloves

The following players were the recipients of the Gold Glove Award in 2008.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Masanori Ishikawa Yakult Swallows P Yu Darvish Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Toru Hosokawa Seibu Lions
Takahiro Arai
Kenta Kurihara
Hanshin Tigers
Hiroshima Carp
1B Alex Cabrera Orix Buffaloes
Masahiro Araki Chunichi Dragons 2B Kensuke Tanaka Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Norihiro Nakamura Chunichi Dragons 3B Toshiaki Imae Chiba Lotte Marines
Hirokazu Ibata Chunichi Dragons SS Hiroyuki Nakajima Seibu Lions
Takahiro Suzuki Yomiuri Giants OF Atsunori Inaba Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Norichika Aoki Yakult Swallows Hichori Morimoto Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Norihiro Akahoshi Hanshin Tigers Tomotaka Sakaguchi Orix Buffaloes

[edit] High School Baseball

[edit] University Baseball

[edit] Meiji Jingu Baseball Convention

In the Meiji Jingu Baseball Convention Toyo University defeated Tohoku Fukushi University.

[edit] International Baseball

Japan finished 4th in the 2008 Olympics and won Gold at the 2008 Women's Baseball World Cup.

[edit] Japanese Players in Other Countries

Italics indicate a Major League appearance

(Needs information)

[edit] Hall of Fame

The following people were elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame:

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