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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Japan Baseball Season 2010


The 2010 Japanese baseball season ended last week with the Chiba Lotte Marines edging the Chunichi Dragons 4-2-1 in the Japan Series.

The Marines were led by series MVP Toshiaki Imae and rookie outfielder Ikuhiro Kiyota and won their first Japan Series title since 2005. They are also the first team to finish third in the league standings to reach and win the Japan Series.

The sixth game of the series ended in a 2-2 tie after 15 innings and at 5 hours and 43 minutes was the longest Japan Series game in history.

The Dragons were the Central League champion this season while the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks won the PL. The season also featured three players who surpassed 200 hits, which prior to this season had happened just three times in the history of Japanese baseball.

Leading the way was Hanshin Tigers outfielder Matt Murton who set a new single-season record with 214 hits, Chiba Lotte Marines shortstop finished with 206 and Norichika Aoki recorded 204 hits for his second career 200-hit season.

Hiroshima Carp pitcher Kenta Maeda won the pitching triple crown and edged Yu Darvish and others for the 2010 Sawamura Award, becoming the first CL pitcher to win the award since Chunichi's Kenshin Kawakami won in 2004.

Individual title winners in the major categories for hitters were:

Batting average: CL, Norichika Aoki (Tokyo Yakult Swallows) .358 PL Tsuyoshi Nishioka (Chiba Lotte Marines) .346

Home runs CL, Alex Ramirez (Yomiuri Giants) 49 PL Takehiro Okada (Orix Buffaloes) 33

RBIs CL Alex Ramirez 129 PL Eiichi Koyano (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) 109

For pitchers the winners were: ERA: CL Kenta Maeda (Hiroshima Carp) 2.21 PL Yu Darvish (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 1.78

Wins CL Kenta Maeda 15 PL Chihiro Kaneko (Orix Buffaloes) Tsuyoshi Wada (Fukuoka Softbank Hawks) 17

Strikeouts CL Kenta Maeda 174 PL Yu Darvish 222

© Jason Coskrey & JapanVisitor.com

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