November 2, 2007

Chunichi Dragon is Japan No. 1

It is simply the perfect game. No doubt after 53 years, Chunichi Dragon is Japan No. 1 baseball team.

Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase combined for the first perfect game in Japan Series history Thursday as the Dragons defeated Trey Hillman's Nippon Ham Fighters 1-0 to win the team's first title in 53 years.

Yamai, playing in his sixth professional season, struck out six over eight perfect innings and Iwase retired the final three batters in order in the ninth.

It was the first perfect game or no-hitter in the 57-year history of the Japan Series, Japan's version of the World Series.

Tyrone Woods scored the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Ryosuke Hirata in the second inning as the Dragons won the best-of-seven series in five games.

It was a disappointing end to five years in Japan for Hillman, who was hired as manager of the Kansas City Royals.

via [mdn]

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