Lee Seung-yeop was a nightmare…Winning the league after 18 years in Hanshin, but the fight is far from over

Their celebration is not over yet. It’s been 18 years since they won the 2005 Central League championship, but their celebration is far from over.

The Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball have finally reached the top of the Central League. Hanshin clinched the Central League title on Thursday with a 4-3 win over the Nippon Professional Baseball 2023 Yomiuri Giants at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, extending their lead over second-place Hiroshima Toyo Carp to 13 games, regardless of the outcome of the remaining games.

It’s been 18 years since Hanshin won the Central League title in 2005, and they’ve returned to the top of the standings and advanced directly to the final stage of the Climax Series. Hanshin will now face the winner of the Climax Series First Stage, where the second- and third-place finishers in the Central League will meet, for a ticket to the Japan Series.

The victory extended Hanshin’s winning streak to a season-high 11 games and improved their overall record to 80 wins, 44 losses and four draws with 15 games remaining. Hanshin’s season record alone shows that they have “dominated” the Central League this year. They briefly lost the top spot to Hiroshima in the summer, but that was it. The team was so dominant that it became the first team in Nippon Professional Baseball history to win nine games in a row three times in a season.

Most of Hanshin’s power can be found on the mound. Hanshin has a team ERA of 2.61, the only team in the Central League with an ERA in the double digits. Shoki Murakami has emerged as an “ace” this year. Murakami has been exceptional this season, going 10-5 with a 1.76 ERA. He also leads the Central League in ERA. He’s the only pitcher in the league with a sub-1 ERA. Closer Suguru Iwazaki is a solid backstop with a 3-2 record and a 1.38 ERA in 32 saves. He is also tied for first in the Central League in saves.

Now, Hanshin has its sights set on the finale: winning the Japan Series. Founded in 1935, Hanshin won the Nippon Series for the “first and last time” in 1985. Hanshin manager Akinobu Okada, who was a member of that winning team, actually led Hanshin to the Central League title and the Nippon Series in 2005.

Hanshin dominated the league in 2005 by building the dreaded “JFK” lineup. “JFK” is a combination of the initials of Jeff Williams, Kyuji Fujikawa, and Tomoyuki Kubota. They were led by “Iron Man” Tomoaki Kanemoto, who exploded for 40 home runs.

However, Hanshin did not end up winning the Japan Series. They were swept in four games by the Chiba Lotte Marlins, their opponents in the Nippon Series, without winning a single game, and were especially challenged by the cannon of Lee Seung-yeop, who was in his second season in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Lee joined the Chiba Lotte team in 2004 and didn’t live up to expectations, hitting .240 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs, but he made a name for himself in 2005, hitting .260 with 30 home runs and 82 RBIs. It was during the Japan Series that he showed off his power at its peak. In Game 1 of the Japan Series, Lee hit a towering solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give his team a 5-1 lead. The game was called in the seventh inning due to dense fog and ended in a 10-1 victory for Chiba Lotte.

Lee’s cannon went off in game two as well. In the bottom of the sixth inning, he launched a two-run home run to give Chiba Lotte a 7-0 lead and put Hanshin out of commission. The result was a 10-0 victory for Chiba Lotte. Game 3 was another 10-1 win for Chiba Lotte, and it was as if they had already won the title. The Japan Series ended with a bang in Game 4. Lee exploded for a two-run homer in the top of the second inning to give his team a 2-0 lead, and he followed it up with a two-run double to left-center in the top of the fourth to give his team a 3-0 lead.

Chiba Lotte went on to win the Japan Series with a 3-2 victory behind a strong performance from Lee Seung-yeop. Chiba Lotte outscored their opponents 33-4 in Games 1-4 of the Japan Series to win their first Japan Series title in 31 years, since 1974. Lee’s success in the Japan Series led to him being drafted by the Yomiuri Giants, one of the most prestigious clubs in Nippon Professional Baseball, the following year in 2006.

It was literally the stuff of nightmares for Hanshin. Eighteen years after their disastrous 2005 Japan Series, the Giants returned to the top of the league and actually had a chance to win the Japan Series in 2014.

Hanshin didn’t win the Central League title, but they did make it to the postseason. The next year, they made it to the Japan Series and knocked on the door once again, but had to settle for runner-up.

Hanshin had Oh Seung-hwan, the “Endgame Captain,” guarding the back door. With nothing more to show for his efforts in South Korea, Oh sought to make his mark overseas, joining Hanshin to play in Nippon Professional Baseball. In his first season in Nippon Professional Baseball, Oh excelled, going 2-4 with a 1.76 ERA in 39 saves, and was named the Central League Reliever of the Year.

Riding on Oh’s back-to-back strong performances, Hanshin swept Hiroshima in the first stage of the Climax Series and Yomiuri in the final stage to advance to the Japan Series. Seung-hwan Oh was a “guardian spirit” as he was named the MVP of the Central League Climax Series.토토사이트

However, Hanshin was unable to fulfill his championship dream, as the team fell to the SoftBank Hawks in the Japan Series 4 games to 1. Oh Seung-hwan also hung his head in shame after being hit by a three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 4 of the Japan Series. He was recognized for meeting Lee Dae-ho, who was with SoftBank at the time, but the two never met in a two-hitter.

As you can see, Hanshin is a team with a lot of championship lore. They won the league title again after 18 years, but their fight is far from over. First, they have to see if they can advance to the Japan Series. Will Hanshin be able to experience the thrill of winning the Japan Series once again after 38 years since 1985?

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