With the Hiroshima Carp’s loss to the Swallows tonight, the Central League Standings look like this:
That’s right, the Tigers are tied for second place! Keep in mind the importance of second over third: that team gets to host the entire best-of-three “1st Stage” playoff series. With that in mind, here is the schedule for the remaining games for both teams:
9/29 vs. DeNA Baystars @ Koshien (SP: Iwata)
9/30 vs. DeNA Baystars @ Koshien (SP: Messenger)
[Update 9/29: Sanspo reports that Nohmi is slated to start the game, with Fujinami available in relief.]
9/29 vs. Yakult Swallows @ Mazda Stadium
9/30 vs. Yakult Swallows @ Madza Stadium
10/1 vs. Hanshin Tigers @ Mazda Stadium
10/5 vs. Yomiuri Giants @ Mazda Stadium
These scenarios remain:
- If the Tigers can win out their regular season (3-0), they lock up 2nd place, regardless of what the Carp do with their other three games.
- If the Tigers win both their games against DeNA but lose to the Carp (2-1), they will finish in 3rd unless the Carp lose two or more of their other games (2-2 or worse).
- If the Tigers win one against DeNA and beat the Carp (2-1), they have to hope the Carp lose at least one of their other games (2-2 or worse).
- If the Tigers lose both against DeNA and beat the Carp (1-2), they have to hope the Carp lose at least two of their other games (1-3).
- If the Tigers win just one against DeNA and lose to the Carp (1-2), they have to hope the Carp lose all three of their other games (1-3).
- If the Tigers lose all three of their remaining games (0-3), they will finish in third, regardless of what the Carp do in their other games.
- Factoring tie games into the remaining schedule gives me headaches, so we will end the scenario talk here.
All I know is, the Tigers now have a solid chance of taking second place and gaining home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Their fate, though, is in their own hands! I say they ought to just win out the season… don’t even give the Carp a chance to recapture sole place of 2nd!