So Craig Calcaterra thinks that since the World Series doesn't start until Wednesday and MLB doesn't want bloggers to talk about rumors and potential transactions, that there's nothing to talk about.
Nippon Professional Baseball disagrees.
Yomiuri Giants 12, Chunichi Dragons 4: The Giants look to show that they're a dangerous team going into the Climax Series this season, launching a 12 run outburst against the Central League-leading Dragons. Former Cleveland and Pittsburgh prospect Alex Ramirez went 3-4, including a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 4th to break the game open and run off Dragons starter Daisuke Yamai. Of note - Ramirez's homer was his 359th in his NPB career, the most of any player who was once traded for Wil Cordero.
Hanshin Tigers 2, Hiroshima Toyo Carp 0: Tigers starter Atsushi Nomi has been having a nice season, and threw eight innings of shutout ball against the Carp, only allowing three baserunners. Former Mets, Dodgers, and Royals prospect Craig Brazell drove in the winning runs for the Tigers in the bottom of the eighth.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 2, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 0: For all the talk of Yu Darvish, the best pitcher in Japan right now may be Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka has put up a ridiculous 1.27 ERA in 27 starts this season, with a 19-5 record, 14 complete games, walking 27 and striking out 241 in 226 1/3 innings of work. This was Tanaka's sixth shutout of the season, giving up five hits and striking out 11 while walking no one. Not bad for a 22-year-old. Micah Hoffpauir got one of the five hits for the Nippon-Ham Fighters, which I threw in there because I feel the need to reference at least one former MLB player in each of these games. Oh, wait - Kaz Matsui went 1-4 for the Golden Eagles, so there's that. Ignore what I said about Hoffpauir.
Saitama Seibu Lions 4, Fukuoka Softbank Hawks... um, also 4: Welcome to Japan. Much like [FILL IN YOUR FAVORITE APPALACHIAN AREA], Nippon Professional Baseball doesn't have any qualms about kissing sisters. If a game is tied after twelve innings in NPB, it's over and ruled a tie. In the playoffs, they go 15 innings before calling the game, eliminating the fun of watching pitchers play left field and backup second basemen throwing 82 MPH fastballs. In the case of the Hawks/Lions game, they only went nine, but after this year's major earthquake a strict three hour and thirty minute time limit was also placed on games (to conserve power). If this happened in America, Joe Girardi would have to retrain himself to use Mariano Rivera in the 6th inning against the Red Sox. Shogo Akiyama went 3-4 for the Lions, who I assume is no relation to Jun Akiyama, otherwise we could refer to his home runs as EXPLODERS and I don't think anyone would EVER get in the way of him for a home plate collision.
[NOTE: I'm not sure if this is going to be a reoccurring thing, but I guess if people like it (and it keeps giving me an excuse to find more Japanese puroresu clips) I'll keep at it.]