2014 Climax Series Victory

Regular Season Standings

2014 CL Final


Managed by: Yutaka Wada

Pennant Lost On: September 26 (Game 140)


Typical Batting Order

# Player Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
1 Uemoto 2B 131 515 90 142 28 5 7 38 70 97 20 10 .276 .368 .390 .758
2 Yamato CF 121 398 54 105 17 1 1 24 29 52 11 7 .264 .318 .319 .638
3 Toritani SS 144 550 96 172 28 2 8 73 90 80 10 6 .313 .406 .415 .821
4 Gomez 1B 143 537 81 152 30 2 26 109 67 166 1 0 .283 .369 .492 .861
5 Murton LF 142 532 58 180 32 0 14 84 50 64 2 5 .338 .394 .477 .872
6 Fukudome RF 104 312 20 79 8 0 9 34 47 48 1 1 .253 .349 .365 .714
7 Imanari 3B 115 332 34 86 15 0 4 24 19 48 2 3 .259 .303 .340 .643
8 Umeno C 92 249 23 49 13 2 7 21 10 78 0 1 .197 .232 .349 .581

Bold indicates league top


Main Pitchers

Player GP GS W L SV HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 31 31 13 10 0 0 3 3 208.1 188 81 74 14 69 226 3.20 1.23
Fujinami 25 25 11 8 0 0 2 0 163.0 150 79 64 6 64 172 3.53 1.31
Nohmi 26 26 9 13 0 0 3 1 169.1 170 81 75 16 48 151 3.99 1.29
Iwata 22 22 9 8 0 0 1 0 148.2 123 50 42 13 44 116 2.54 1.12
Iwazaki 17 17 5 4 0 0 0 0 90.0 85 37 35 6 26 76 3.50 1.23
Andoh 53 0 6 2 0 23 0 0 47.1 53 21 20 2 18 41 3.80 1.46
Fukuhara 60 0 4 6 0 38 0 0 53.1 55 24 24 8 13 47 4.05 1.27
Oh 64 0 2 4 39 5 0 0 66.2 41 18 13 5 15 81 1.76 0.81

Bold indicates league top


Season Story

Several bad omens at season’s start led many to believe this would not be a good year for Hanshin. Newly signed slugger Mauro Gomez, who was supposed to give the team a power-hitting first baseman, came to spring training late due to his newborn daughter being ill back in the Dominican Republic. Even when he arrived, he appeared to struggle to find his swing. Many started to write him off as another “dame gaijin” (bad foreigner). Then during the third game of the regular season, Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Kosuke Fukudome collided in shallow right field. Both were injured, though Fukudome stayed in the game. (His batting average, though, was below .200 for the entire month following the injury.) Nishioka, on the other hand, did not return to the Tigers lineup until the end of June.

Despite losing three of their first four games (and allowing double digits in each of those losses), Hanshin had a solid first month to the season. Matt Murton had 32 RBIs by April 30 (to go along with 6 home runs and a .365 average), and Gomez reached base safely in each of the team’s first 27 games (a club record to open the season). The team found itself tied for first place heading into May.

The next two months were rather forgettable, and Hanshin struggled against superior Pacific League competition in interleague play. The team went a combined 15-26-1 through the end of June, and found itself under .500 and down in fourth place.

As the weather heated up, though, so did the Tigers. July saw the team record its first 8-game winning streak under manager Yutaka Wada, and through July 22, the team’s record on the month was 13-2. The gap between the Tigers and the first place Giants was the slimmest it had been since the Giants took over first during June, and the team looked primed to make a run for the pennant.

Even a brief slump at the end of July followed by a mediocre August had the Tigers sitting just 2.5 games out of first place heading into September. But as was typical of previous incarnations of the team (and also true of the next two seasons), the last month of the season started extremely poorly. The team dropped 8 of its first 11 games, putting them not only out of position to take the pennant, but even to host postseason baseball, with Hiroshima cruising in second place.

With just 12 games left on the schedule, Hanshin was 2.5 games behind the Carp. The team went 8-4 the rest of the way, but found itself tied Hiroshima for second place. By mere percentage points, the Carp would lock up second place with a tie or win in its final game against the Giants. Fortunately for the Tigers, the team that had already locked up the Central League pennant showed up that night, beating Hiroshima 4-1 at Mazda Stadium. The loss nudged Hanshin ahead of Hiroshima into second place, setting up a best-of-three playoff series at Koshien Stadium.


Climax Series – First Stage

The visiting Hiroshima Carp had stung the Tigers in this same situation (first stage of the playoffs at Koshien) the previous season. Game 1 (October 11) was a battle of two aces: Randy Messenger and Kenta Maeda. Our righty went 8 shutout innings, while Maeda gave up just one run (a solo shot to Kosuke Fukudome) in the sixth inning. That was enough for this game to be decided, though. Oh came in to strike out the side in the ninth, and Hanshin took a 1-0 series lead. Click here for a more detailed summary. Final Score: Tigers 1, Carp 0

Game 2 (October 12) saw Atsushi Nohmi basically duplicate Messenger’s line from Game 1. This one went to extras, but neither team managed to push a runner across home plate the entire game. The sister-kisser meant Hiroshima had no way of beating Hanshin in a best-of-3. Just one run in 21 innings of ball overall, but Hanshin scored it, and would advance to the final stage of the Climax Series. Click here for a highlight video clip. Final Score: Tigers 0, Carp 0


Climax Series – Final Stage

*Click on the links below to read game summaries written the night of the actual games back in October 2014.

Game 1 Recap (Tigers 4, Giants 1)

Game 2 Recap (Tigers 5, Giants 2)

Game 3 Recap (Tigers 4, Giants 2)

Game 4 Recap (Tigers 8, Giants 4)


Nippon Series

*Click on the links below to read game summaries written the night of the actual games back in October 2014.

Game 1 Recap (Tigers 6, Hawks 2)

Game 2 Recap (Hawks 2, Tigers 1)

Game 3 Recap (Hawks 5, Tigers 1)

Game 4 Recap (Hawks 5x, Tigers 2)

Game 5 Recap (Hawks 1, Tigers 0)


Individual Awards

All-Star Selection: Shintaro Fujinami (2nd time), Takashi Toritani (5th time), Murton (4th time)

Top Average: Murton (.338 – first time)

Most RBIs: Gomez (109 – first time)

Most Wins: Messenger (13 – first time)

Most Strikeouts: Messenger (226 – second straight year)

Most Saves: Seung-hwan Oh (39 – first time)

Outstanding Mid-Reliever: Fukuhara (first time)

All-Central Team: Gomez (1B – first), Toritani (SS – fifth), Murton (OF – fourth)

Golden Glove: Toritani (SS – third), Yamato (OF – first)

Fighting Spirit Award (Nippon Series): Messenger

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