With last night's 5-3 loss to Hiroshima the Dragons are now 5 1/2 games behind the Carp with seven games left to play. After failing to make up much ground this past weekend, only one game in the standings, it was already reaching "needing a miracle" territory for the Dragons. Last night's loss was the next to last nail in the 2013 season coffin.
Chunichi had Kawakami on the mound for the game and he pitched well, leaving the game with a 3-2 Dragons lead after six. The Carp took the lead in the top of the 7th with some clutch hitting off of Mise and Asao. The Hiroshima bullpen held the lead from there.
It would take an all-time collapse now by Hiroshima for the Dragons to make the playoffs and that's not going to happen. Hiroshima is playing some good ball right now, right when they needed to. They may even make it to .500 by the end of the season, maybe for the first time all season. If they do make it into the playoffs, hopefully they will at least knock off Hanshin and Yomiuri in the Climax. They don't the same talent as those teams, but with good pitching they have a chance, the Dragons have shown that over the past several years.
I'll at least be rooting for Rakuten this year. They are the Pacific League team I pull for and have a good shot to do some damage. They're a lot better than the last time they made the playoffs with the 41 year old "zombie corpse" (per the Eagles blog) of Takeshi Yamasaki as one of their main players. He did hit 39 homers that year though, plus three more in the playoffs.