The Fighters played their last game of the year last night at the Kyocera Dome, and they won 4-0. I spent an hour trying to get Yahoo to accept my money in exchange for letting me watch the game over their internet feed, to no avail, and justin.tv had broadcasts of every OTHER game except the Fighters, so instead of watching the game, I slept for 10 hours last night.
This win puts them into 3rd place with a W/L/T record of 74-67-3 and a .525 win percentage. Softbank and Seibu are now pretty much set in 1st and 2nd place, so it's just a matter of who takes 3rd -- the Fighters or the Marines?
The Marines have pretty much run out of steam, and right now are in 4th place with a 73-67-2 record... and 2 games left to play, both against 5th-place Orix. They beat 6th-place Rakuten last night. If the Marines win both of their last 2 games, they will edge out the Fighters for 3rd place at 75-67-2 and a .528 WP%. If they win one and lose one, they will finish in 4th. If they win one and tie one, the two teams will be in a dead tie. I am not sure what happens in that case -- a one-game playoff, perhaps?
Either way, over the last few days, my Fighters friends have started the email chain for "Who's coming to Seibu for the playoffs if we make it?" and seeing how many Seibu Fan Club members we have among us to secure tickets.
You may be wondering where my Big 6 Week 3 roundup is. Well, guess what -- Week 3 isn't OVER yet. Waseda beat Meiji in 2 games, but after Keio beat Rikkio in the first game, they tied their second game on Sunday 0-0 (in 9 innings due to the pro game in the evening, with both Koji Fukutani and Masato Komuro refusing to budge), and were rained out on Monday, and then tied their THIRD game on Tuesday 4-4 (in 12 innings due to league regulations, with homeruns from both Hayata Itoh and Soichiro Tanaka), so now they are set to play their FOURTH game today. And get this, if Rikkio wins or if they tie again, they will go to a FIFTH game on Thursday. What I'm wondering is, who's going to pitch today? Daisuke and Fukutani both pitched 6 innings yesterday for Keio, and Okabe and Komuro both pitched several innings for Rikkio.
I feel sort of bad for the Tohto League, who gets pushed aside by all this, especially because their first game this week is Toyo-Aoyama, which should be a fantastic pitching duel between Takahiro Fujioka and Yuto Fukushima. Alas.
(EDIT> The answer to "Who will pitch?" was apparently Akihiro Hakumura for Keio and Hayato Saitoh for Rikkio. But Hakumura got knocked out after like 2 innings.)
Also, if you are in the Tokyo general area and are interested in the 2010 draft, you have one more day to enter the lottery for fans attending the draft.
I have been closely monitoring the college players who registered to enter the draft and today finally saw the first Big 6 guy to show up on the list -- Kisho Kagami! Hooray! I expect a few more guys to show up out of the Big 6 and Tohto leagues, but I'm not sure when their deadline is to notify the league is. I think the only other big-name college player listed so far is Yudai Ohno from Bukkyo University.
The high school players who registered list is a lot longer right now, and a lot more diverse. I know that they have until Oct 14th to notify the league. The only players on there so far that I've seen play in person (at a glance, there are probably others) are Shutoku's Taiki Mitsumata, Teikyo's Yasuaki Yamasaki, and Chiben Wakayama's Haruki Nishikawa, but I expect that some more Kanto-area players will show up soon. Narita's Ryo Nakagawa and Kojo's Justin Nakano are also registered for the draft.
I'm more nervous about this year's draft than I have been in the past, that's for sure -- probably because I am so much more emotionally invested in the college players more than anything else.