Thanks to an excellent performance by Daisuke Yamai, Chunichi was able to defeat Hanshin yesterday and move into a tie for third place with the Tigers. The Dragons scored a run in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and Yamai and Iwase were able to escape jams in the bottom of the 8th and 9th innings to preserve the victory.
Chunichi had been stuck in 4th place since nearly the start of the season, but the Cental League has been tightening up. Interleague play was good to the Dragons as they gained ground against Hanshin and Hiroshima. Hopefully Chunichi can keep it up and make the Central League race interesting down the stretch, the season is almost half over already. Hiroshima has been coming back down to earth so 2nd place isn't out of the question.
Asao is back, and pitching well, and Yoshimi could be back as soon as next month. That should help. Hirata is banged up now, hopefully he won't be out for long. Anderson Hernandez has gotten hot and given the team a boost as Naomichi Donoue has slumped back to the bench. Outside of Yomiuri, all of the Central League teams have flaws so really any of the other teams could find themselves playing in the Climax Series.
The Dragons are making a run, get fired up Dragons fans!