2008 in Japanese Baseball
|2008 in baseball|
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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.
- Bold indicates league champion; Italics indicate Nippon Series winner; * indicates playoff team
|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|
|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|
- Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record
|Statistic||Central League||Pacific League|
|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
|Doubles||Seiichi Uchikawa||Yokohama BayStars||37||Jose Fernandez||Rakuten Golden Eagles||40|
|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|
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.
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.
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|
The following players were part of the 2008 Best Nine teams.
The following players were the recipients of the Gold Glove Award in 2008.
High School Baseball
Meiji Jingu Baseball Convention
Japanese Players in Other Countries
- Italics indicate a Major League appearance
Hall of Fame
The following people were elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame:
- Tsuneo Horiuchi by the Sportswriter Committee
- Seiichi Shima by the Special Committee
- Koji Yamamoto by the Sportswriter Committee
|Japanese Baseball Seasons