Yu Darvish Volunteers to Pitch Relief Against Hanshin

» 19 June 2008 » In npb »

NPB Interleague Play wraps up over the weekend, and Nippon Ham will need to win both of it’s games against Hanshin to have a shot at winning the Interleague title*. Yu Darvish has offered to pitch in relief over the weekend if it will give his team a chance to win. Darvish last pitched on June 17, throwing 128 pitches over seven innings in the Fighters’ 8-7 win. He allowed three earned runs while striking out nine and walking four.

Hopefully Nippon Ham manager Nashida sees the bigger picture and doesn’t burn out his ace pitcher over a game that ultimately doesn’t hold any special meaning.

Source: Sanspo (in Japanese)

*In Japan, Interleague games are sorted of treated as a separate championship within the season. Each team’s results still factor in to their normal won-lost records, but they also keep separate standings for Interleague games, and the team with the best record is considered the champion. The Interleague Championship doesn’t have any playoff implications and isn’t a big deal at the end of the day. The Interleague contenders are:

Team W L
Softbank 14 8
Hanshin 14 8
Nippon Ham 13 9
Yomiuri 13 9

Going into the final Interleague weekend, Hanshin plays Nippon Ham and Softbank plays Yomiuri. So despite the Interleague games not being worth any more in the standings than any other game, making it a little more of a competition does at a bit of intrigue.

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  1. Patrick
    20/06/2008 at 1:59 am Permalink

    Well, if it’s Yu’s throw day anyways, then I don’t see much harm. Managers in the majors sometimes do that. But he’s still young, so it’d be better to play safe. And besides the Interleague title is meaningless imo.

    But I guess they had to spice it up for the public. I’m sure glad they have interleague play even in it’s current limited form. I mean, a 6 team league playing over 140 games in a season can get quite repetitious. I thought they should’ve kept the 3 game series home and away against the teams in the other league, but just have the interleague games split up into two halves. Say half the games in May, then the rest in July or something like that, rather than reduce it to the 2 game series we have now because the interleague period was “too long” (I think that was the official reason given).

  2. Patrick
    23/06/2008 at 11:13 am Permalink

    Well, Darvish got the weekend off, and Nippon Ham split their series with Hanshin but missed out on the Interleague crown.