The Hiroshima Carp’s place in the Central League Climax Series for the first time since 2019 was confirmed yesterday (September 25). The 2nd-place team did not play, but the 4th-place Tokyo Yomiuri Giants 0-1 loss to 3rd-place Yokohama DeNA, confirmed the Carp’s top three position.
According to the local newspaper Chugoku Shinbun
Hiroshima made great strides in the summer and took the sole lead on July 27 when they won 10 straight games for the first time since May 2019. However, the team stalled in September, affected by the departure of key players due to injury. Although they allowed the top-ranked Hanshin to win the championship for the first time in 18 years, they continued to fight tenaciously and moved into the A-Class.
The Climax Series will start on October 14 at Mazda Stadium in Hiroshima against Yokohama DeNA. The winners will face Osaka’s Hanshin Tigers in the finals in the final stage starting on October 18 to determine which team will represent the Central League in the Japan Series.
The 2nd place finish comes at the end of Takahiro Arai’s first season as Carp manager. Asked to comment on the achievement he said, “It’s too early to look back, because we still have a long way to go. However, I really appreciate the efforts of the players.”
The Carp still have 5 games left to play in the regular season, finishing with 2 games against the Central League champions Hanshin Tigers September 30 and October 1 at Mazda Stadium.
Source & photo: Chugoku Shinbun
September 26, 2023