ERAKoji Uehara (Giants) 2.09 (first time)
Most games wonKoji Uehara (Giants) 20 (first time)
Most strike outsKoji Uehara (Giants) 179 (first time)
Most savesShingo Takatsu (Swallows) 31SP (2nd time)
Highest hitting averageBobby Rose (Bay Stars) .369 (first time)
Most base hitsBobby Rose (Bay Stars) 192 (first time)
HomerunRoberto Petagine (Swallows) 44 (first time)
RBIBobby Rose (BayStars) 153 (2nd time)
Most on baseRoberto Petagine (Swallows) .469 (first time)
Most bases stolenTakuro Ishii (Bay Stars) 39 (3rd time)

With the pennant winner already decided, all eyes are on which players will win which title. On Oct. 5, Giants' rookie Koji Uehara started against the Dragons. Once, when Roberto Petagine was at bat, he was ordered to walk him. Uehara obeyed in tears. The point was, his teammate Hideki Matsui who was one homerun behind Petagine was walked all times at bat, so it was the Giants' retaliatory act. But Uehara managed to hurl a distance in at 5 to 2 game and clinched his 20th win. It's the first time in 37 years that a rookie accumulated so many wins in the league.

The standing for Central League's 1999 pennant was finalized.
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
3. Yokohama Bay Stars
4. Yakult Swallows
5. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
6. Hanshin Tigers

Roberto Petagine of the Swallows blasted his 39th and a game winning 40th homer over the Giants on Sept. 4. The Swallows clinched its 4th straight win in the 9 to 6 game while the Giants' succumbed to its 3rd defeat in a row. The Dragons also had a "sayonara " defeat on the same day. It was over the Carp 0 to 1. The Dragons was able to defeat the Carp the next day. The Giants' though lost another game it was taking the lead twice. The result was 10 to 7 for the Swallows.

The Giants losing streak was stopped at 4, by Koji Uehara on Sept. 7. And the surprise was, Masumi Kuwata closed the final inning against the BayStars. Uehara picked up his 17th win and was also announced August's MVP. Kuwata also relieved a 3 to 2 game the following day for his first save.

In the 3 game series against the Tigers from Sept. 9, the Giants lost the 1st, but picked up the rest raising hope among fans that a miracle might just happen. And from Sept. 14, the most important games of the season,Giants vs Dragons took off. The first one, Koji Uehara hurled a distance and shut out the opponent 0 to 5. He collected his 18th win--to take the lead in the league. Domingo Martinez and Hideki Matsui contributed with homeruns. The 2 homered again the next day. But the major point was the smooth take over by pitchers one after another. The Giants defeated the Dragons again, this time 10 to 3. In the final match up this season, the Dragons won 6 to 2. At that point, hope for a miracle to happen for the Giants' was still there. However, the Dragons defeated the BayStars on Sept. 17 while the Giants did not have a game. The next day the Dragons won again while the Giants played poorly against the Carp losing 1 to 7. Win and loss was reversed on Sept. 19 rising Giants hope for the pennant again.

The Giants won again. On Sept. 21, its beat the Tigers. Hideki Matsui smashed the ball for 2 homers. He marked his 39th of the season. Although Koji Uehara lost 3 runs, and hurled only 6 innings--the least this season, he clinched his 19th win in the 6 to 4 game. The Dragons too was victorious that day against the Carp 8 to 0. And on Sept. 22, the Giants won 3 to 2 with another homer by Matsui, and 2 homers by Takayuki Shimizu. The Dragons won again 12 to 1 keeping the distance between the 2 teams unchanged. The 2 teams continue the same the following day. On the other hand, the team in terrible condition is the Tigers. It had to take its 8th straight loss in the season's final game with the Giants.

The Giants possibility for a miracle was kept alive on Sept 24. It was at one point behind 1 to 5 against the Swallows. But it caught up in the 9th, and in the extended 10th inning, Domingo Martinez blasted a game winning run. The Dragons did not have a game that day. The next day, the Giants lost 3 to 0 while the Dragons defeated the Tigers 3 to 0 to stretch its lead over the Giants. Then again, on Sept 26, both teams won.

The Giants lost with Koji Uehara on Sept 27, surprisingly. And from there, the Giants losing streak took off while the Dragons continued to win. The Dragons, by defeating the Swallows on Sept 30 4 to 3, clinched the league pennant. It's the first time in 11 years. For skipper Senichi Hoshino, it's his 2nd victory.

Team standing as of the end of September
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
3. Yokohama Bay Stars
4. Yakult Swallows
5. Hanshin Tigers
6. Hiroshima Toyo Carp

No teams can stop Giants' rookie Koji Uehara from winning. On Aug. 3, he hurled over a distance against the Swallows and clinched his 13th win. In the same game last year's rookie Yoshinobu Takahashi slammed a league leading 29th homer and took the Giants' to a 8 to 2 victory.

A devastating news for BayStar fans. The allmighty stopper, Kazuhiro Sasaki announced on Aug. 3 that he will undergo surgery of his right arm. He will not be able to play this season, and this will definitely hurt the team which has relied heavily on its ace pitcher, especially last year for the championship crown.

Hideki Matsui lost his place in the Giants lineup after the all star break, and his string of game appearance which was at 781 had to be halted. He was injured during the all star games around his right stomach. Matsui's comeback was on Aug. 7 when in the 12th inning, he managed to drive in a game winning run through a sacrifice fly. It was a miraculous 8 to 7 win over the Carp for the Giants which at one point was way behind 1 to 7.

Tigers' outgoing skipper Katsuya Nomura was expelled from a game for the first time ever on August 7. He called the umpire "you stupid" to the out judgement he made for a bunt by Toshiro Yufune. At least the Tigers were able to stop its losing streak at 9 by clinching this game 7 to 6 and leaving the bottom place to the Carp.

The BayStars are doing well despite the absense of its super reliever, Kazuhiro Sasaki. Sasaki underwent surgery on Aug. 9. On Aug. 10 the BayStars captured the game from the Carp 7 to 4. It's the BayStars' 10th straight win. And Koji Uehara continues to be a wonder. He again went over the distance on Aug. 10, to give the Giants' a 1 to 5 victory and to award himself his 13th win staying on the top of the league. The BayStars finally lost on Aug. 11, that's to the Carp 2 to 4.

Pitcher Darrel May was punished by the Tigers' for causing a commotion in the press, by pronouncing clearly that he could not stand skipper Katsuya Nomura and asked the team to release him. Well, the team did release him, but under a restricted circumstance. He will not be able to play with other ball clubs until the end of Nov. when his contract with the Tigers' expires. The former Anaheim Angel left Japan Aug. 12.

Roberto Pentagine of the Swallows slammed 2 homers on Aug. 12 making his total homeruns to 34, to lead in the league. However his team lost to the Giants 5 to 6. The Giants are keeping its 2nd place in the league with a winning streak of 6 on Aug. 13. Pitcher Balvino Galvez not only won his 8th game, he blasted a grand slam outside the Yokohama Stadium to reverse the game. The Giants winning streak ended Aug.15 with its defeat to the Bay Stars.

A intense game between the top 2 teams on Aug. 17 was ruined by Hiromu Makihara of the Giants. He came to relief super rookie Koji Uehara with the Giants leading 2 to 1 over the Dragons. However, Makihara walked a batter, then succumbed to a "sayonara" base hit. Some blamed the umpire for not calling Makihara's pitches as strikes. On that day, Roberto Pentagine blasted a 2 run homer, his 35th and his team defeated the Carp 2 to 0.

The Giants' ended up losing all 3 games to the Dragons. The Dragons reversed the game on Aug. 19 in the final inning to further its lead from the runner up Giants, even though Giants slugger Hideki Matsui blasted 2 two-run homers. Although the Giants stopped its losing streak on Aug. 20 against the Tigers, it lost the next 2 days. Hopes for clinching the league title has slumped. However, hope for its player to win a couple of titles is high. Koji Uehara clinched his 15th win on Aug. 23 when he hurled a distance in a 5 to 1 game against the Bay Stars. At this point Uehara not only has the league's most win, but the highest winning ratio, and ERA as well.

The Giants' is back on track clinching its 4th straight win on Aug. 28. It defeated the Carp 5 to 4 in a game it was initially losing. The Dragons, on the other hand lost 2 to 11 to the Bay Stars. This slightly rose hope for the Giants' to go for the pennant win. The Giants again won the next day in another competitive game of 6 to 5, relaying 5 pitchers in all. Kazuhiro Kiyohara slammed a decisive homer. The 5th ranking Tigers too extended its winning streak to 6 playing home in Koshien Stadium.

The 3 game series between the leader and the Giants took off on Aug. 30. Rookie Koji Uehara this time hurled a distance and clinched his 16th win. The next day, Masaki Saitoh suddenly hurt his leg in the 1st inning and was taken over by Hideki Okajima. Okajima hurled the rest of the game shutting out the Dragons. The Giants scored 8 runs.

Team standing as of the end of August
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
3. Yokohama Bay Stars
4. Yakult Swallows
5. Hanshin Tigers
6. Hiroshima Toyo Carp

Rookie Koji Uehara of the Giants held the Bay Stars to scoring just one run on July 4. Uehara hurled a distance for his 10 win. It's been 33 years since a Giants rookie won 10 or more games. In this game, Domingo Martinez tripled. It's already his 5th homer. The Tigers may be back on track. It won its 4th straight game defeating the Carp 8 to 4.

The Carp is in terrible shape. On July 7, it was struggling to catch up with the BayStars but could not quite. Kazuhiro Sasaki stopped them, and the game ended 4 to 5. It's the Carp's 8th straight loss. And it lost again 1 to 8 to the BayStars the following day. Then on July 9, the Carp succumbed to 2 homers by Yoshinobu Takahashi, and one each by Domingo Martines and Hideki Matsui for a 1 to 7 loss agains the Giants. On July 11, the Carp lost 1 to 3 to Giants' rooked Koji Uehara. The losing streak stretched to 12. Uehara, meanwhile, clinched amazingly, his 11th win already, leading the league. And on July 13, the Carp tied with its worst record of 13 straight losses. At one point, it reversed the game, but lost 3 to 4 to the Dragons. For the Dragons its their 4th win in a row. The Carp at last awakened from a long nightmare on July 14. It defeated the Dragons 1 to 0.

Hideki Matsui smashed a league leading 25th homer on July 16. And his team won 8 to 0 over the Tigers. Balvino Galvez clinched a shut out victory. But with the Dragons winning against the Bay Stars 2 to 1, the Giants could not come closer to the top team. The next day too, Matsui homered--not only 1 but 2. Yoshinobu Takahashi did also. Also the Tigers revolted suddenly, the Giants in the end won 11 to 7. The Dragons won again 2 to 1. Giants Koji Uehara earned another win on July 18. He went a distance in a 3 to 2 game against the Tigers and contributed to the Giants' 4th straight win. Uehara is with 12 wins. The Dragons barely won 4 to 3 over the BayStars again, therefore, keeping the Giants from closing in on them.

The Dragons and the Giants faced a 3 game series from July 20. The Giants clinched the first with Hideki Matsui's league leading 28th homerun. But the Dragons captured the last 2. Stretching its lead.

Team standing as of the end of July
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
3. Yokohama Bay Stars
4. Yakult Swallows
5. Hanshin Tigers
6. Hiroshima Toyo Carp

The Giants had another tough game, this time against the top team on June 1. Although it batted in 4 runs early in the game, including Hideki Matsui's 2 run homer--his 14th homer this season, Masumi Kuwata lost 3 runs. The Giants' relief pitchers who are usually unreliable were able to keep the Dragons from scoring for a 4 to 3 win. The Giants won again the next day 3 to 2 for its 4th win in a row. But, the Giants were back to bad habits soon. On June 4, it was ahead of the Bay Stars by 5 runs, but the game was reversed by a grand slam by Toshio Haru in the 8th inning, and ended 6 - 9 . The Giants were back in the bottom of the ranking. The Bay Stars overwhelmed the Giants again the following day winning 11 to 6 and marked its 6th win in a row. Giants' rookie Koji Uehara kept his team from stretching the losing streak on June 6, and Hideki Matsui contributed with his 16th homer for a 5 to 2 win.

The Giants won its 3rd straight game on June 9 by defeating the Dragons 4 to 2. The day before, Kazuhiro Kiyohara blasted a game winning 3 run homer and concluded the over 5 hours games. Meanwhile, the Tigers won...and with the victory on June 9 the Tigers tied for 1st place with the Dragons. It's the first time in 6 years for the Tigers to sit in the top post. And the next day, the Dragons again lost to the Giants' homerun rush in a 3 to 13 game. The Tigers did not have a game scheduled, and so automatically became the sole team to rule 1st place while the Dragons dropped.

The top team welcomed the Giants to Koshien Stadium on June 11. But the Giants, which for the first time this season is in good shape continued to be so. Kazuhiro Kiyohara smacked 3 homers in just this game. Balvino Galvez hurled a distance to win 9 to 3. The next day, the Tigers took revenge. In the 12th inning, the Giants relief pitcher Hiromu Makihara was supposed to walk Tsuyoshi Shinjo deliberately. But he didn't pitch away from Shinjo. Shinjo smashed the ball, and a runner came home to end the game 5 to 4. On June 13, Giants' Hideki Matsui blasted his 20th homerun. Daisuke Motoki homered a double. Rookie Koji Uehara was successfully relieved this time by Hiromu Makihara and clinched his 7th win in a 4 to 1 game. Since the Dragons lost too... to the BayStar, Tigers are tied for first.

2 games on June 15 went into extra innings. The Tigers turned the game around the defeat the Carp 9 to 6 in 11 innings. The Dragons ace pitcher Masahiro Yamamoto was about to hurl a victorious game to a distance, but in the 9th, he had to go. The game went into the 12th. It was a very difficult game, but the Dragons managed to clinch it 5 to 4. The standing of top teams did not change again.

On June 17, a slight change in team standing. Heavy rain disrupted Tiger's Keiichi Yabu's pitch twice. He lost concentration that in the end, the Carp won 5 to 1. The result of the game lifted Carp to 2nd place in the league.The Dragons's clinched its 3rd straight game by winning over the Swallows 6 to 5.

Domingo Martinez who joined the Giants just this month, started a game for the first time with them on June 19. He blasted 2 homers in the game against the Tigers. Martinez was lined in the clean up with the Lions for the past 2 years. Since he is widely believed to be not so good out in the field, it was difficult for the Giants for him to find a position form him. This day, he was out in left field. The Giants won 5 to 3. The Giants won another game the next day 4 to 1, and rookie Koji Uehara collected his 8th win already. The Giants surged to 3rd place tying with the Tigers.

The Tigers succumbed to its 5th straight loss on June 23 in a 4 to 9 game. Bobby Rose of the BayStar ruined their game with 2 homers, his 19th and 20th. Rose had announced earlier that he would retire from pro baseball after the season ends.

Kazuhiro Kiyohara injured a ligament in his leg when he slid into home on June 26. He's been diagnosed to need 6 weeks to recover. The Giant's replaced the clean up post with Domingo Martinez the next day. But it wasn't Martinez who blasted, but Hideki Matsui. He reversed the game with a 2 run homer in the 9th inning for a 4 to 2 victory over the Giants. Rookie Koji Uehara hurled a distance for his 9th win. With the victory, the Giants became 2nd in the league.

Team standing as of the end of June
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
3. Hanshin Tigers
4. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
5. Yokohama Bay Stars
6. Yakult Swallows

The Tigers' are doing swell. It's won its 4th game in a row to the Giants on May 3. Contributing to it is Mark Johnson who smashed homers 3 days in a row. On the other hand, the Giants' marked its 5th straight loss in a 2 to 3 game. Most of the games have been very close ones. The blame is mostly on the unreliable relief pitchers. On May 5, the Tigers' added another victory by defeating the Giants 4 to 3. Johnson homered again. At this point, the Tigers' surged to 2nd place in the league standing.

The Giants finally won on May 7 after 6 straight losses. That's over the Swallows 3 to 2. Yoshinobu Takahashi blasted his 10th homerun this season--to lead the league. However, he had to withdraw in the middle of the game because he sprained his leg while running towards first base. The Tigers lost to a whooping 0 to 16 that day to the BayStars unabling it to stretch its winning streak to 4. On May 8, Carp's Shinji Sasaoka became the 67th pitcher in Japanese pro baseball to achieve a no hit no run game. He did it from the Dragons. The Dragons became the first team to clinch its 20th win in the league on May 9 by winning over the Carp 14 to 1. The loss has dropped Carp to the lowest position in the league. The Tigers kept its 2nd position in a close game with the Bay Stars. Mark Johnson blasted his 10th homer.

Takashi Saitoh of the BayStars shut out the Giants 0 to 5 on May 14. The game for the Giants' is its 3rd defeat in a row. The Giants' remains last in the league, 1.5 games behind the BayStars. The top 2 teams fought that day and the Tigers won with Yutaka Taiho's "sayonara" homerun. The Giants lost again the next day to the BayStars 4 to 7 even though Yoshinobu Takahashi slammed his 13th homerun. However, on May 15, thanks to rookie pitcher Koji Uehara, the Giants losing streak came to an end. He in addition pitched over a distance for the first time. The Giants defeated the BayStars 3 to 2. 53,000 spectators were excited at Koshien Stadium, the home ground of the Tigers seeing their team reverse the game that was initially led by the Dragons. The Tigers won 7 to 6.

For the first time, a new guy called Jose came on as a starting pitcher for the Giants on May 18. He pitched 8 scoreless inning, but was homered by Roberto Pentagine in the 9th. In the 10th inning, Toshihisa Nishi doubled for the Giants--for a 4 to 2 win. The Swallows and Giants played a even hotter game the next day which lasted 5 hour 20 minutes. It was a see saw game that went into the 13th inning. In the end, the Swallows clinched with a game winning base hit. The magic continues for the Tigers, but with strategy. Relief pitcher Shoji Tohyama was sent to first base and called back again to pitch--a very rare occurrence. The Tigers defeated the Carp 10 to 2.

Giants' Hideki Matsu smashed a homerun for the 4th game in a row on May 21. But what was more surprising that day was that pitcher Balvino Galvez blasted a grand slam. He's only the 2nd Giants' pitcher to achieve the feat ever. Galvez had a shaky 9th inning but was able to hurl a distance for the team's 6 to 4 win over the Tigers. However, the Tigers' clinched the next 2 games, and the victories, have pulled the team closer to the Dragons. As of May 23, there's only 0.5 game between the top 2 teams.

From May 25, the top 2 teams faced eachother in a 3 day series. The Dragons clinched the first one with a game winning hit. The second day, the Tigers won 5 to 1. And the final one was very very competitive. But a relay of S.Korean pitchers turned effective for the Dragons. Samson Lee started and it was closed by Sun Dong Yol in the 7 to 6 game.

Giants' Hideki Matsui batted in a game winning run to defeat the Tigers 3 to 2 on May 29. Then the next day, Giants' Takayuki Shimizu drove in a 3 run homer. The Giants' won again 5 to 2. This victory pushed the Giants'standing in the league to 5th. For the Tigers, it's the worst showing this month with a consecutive loss.

Team standing as of the end of May
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Hanshin Tigers
3. Yakult Swallows
3. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
5. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
6. Yokohama Bay Stars

The Central League opened one day before the Pacific League on Apr.2. The Swallows played against last year's champion, BayStars in their new visitor's uniform and led by a new manager. They've more or less copied the design of Cleveland Indians'. Team manager is Tsutomu Wakamatsu. It was a great new start fo the team defeating the BayStars 10 to 5. The Swallows in fact won 2 more games against the champion. It's the first time in 19 years that the Swallows won 3 straight openers. In Nagoya, a competitive game took place. In the end, the Dragons clinched the match 4 to 3. The Dragons won all 3 openers for the first time in 27 years. Balvino Galvez who was ousted from Japanese baseball after committing an offense against an umpire on July 31 last year was not only back, he was granted the honor of opening pitcher for the Giants. He's only the 2nd non-Japanese to start the season for Japan's oldest pro baseball team. He faced the Tigers' led for the first time by manager Katsuya Nomura who skippered the Swallows until last year. Galvez was homered by Makoto Imaoka, but teammate Daisuke Motoki reversed the game with his 2 run homer. Last year's super rookie Yoshinobu Takahashi blasted a grand slam. Galvez went over the distance. The Giants won 8 to 1. However, the Giants lost the next 2 games even though Takahashi homered in each, and with Masumi Kuwata and rookie Koji Uehara as starters.

The Giants lost its 3rd game in a row on Apr.7 to the Swallows' game winning run. The BayStars are performing much worse. They haven't won a game as of Apr. 8. That day, they had their 6th straight loss in a 1 to 6 games. On Apr.9, the Giants and the BayStars met. The Giants by the 2nd inning had batted in 8 runs. With Balvino Galvez as their starter, noone doubted the Giants' victory. But then, a disaster. Takashi Saitoh pitch smashed into Shinichi Murata's face. Murata couldn't move. It was discovered later that he broke his cheek bone. Galvez and the substitute catcher did not get along well. The BayStars smashed Galvez and pitchers who followed him and in the end, reversed the game and won 13 to 8. The Giants' lost another game and finally won it's 2nd game of the season on Apr. 13. The man who prevented the Giants' from further loss was rookie Koji Uehara. He clinched his 1st win and was relieved by Hiromu Makihara.

The Dragons' have not lost a game since the opener. It won its 7th straight game by defeating the Tigers in a 10 inning game 6 to 3. It's the first time in 36 years for such consecutive win. Then on Apr.13, the winning streak went even further, breaking the Central League recorded. It defeated the Swallows 6 to 1. The following day, the 2 played a fierce seesaw match. But the Dragons in the end won 11 to 6.

BayStar's super closure, Kazuhiro Sasaki pitched for the first time this season on Apr. 13, and kept the Tigers from scoring in a 1 to 0 game.

The Dragons continues to win. On Apr.15, it defeated the Swallows 3 to 0. Pitcher Kazuhiro Takeda who played for the Hawks last year got the shut out win. The next day, the Dragon's tied with the Japan record with it's 11th straight win since the season opened with a 6 to 1 win over the Giants. But as there is an end to everything in this world, the Dragons' d-day came on Apr.17. It was helpless before Giants' ace pitcher Masumi Kuwata. Kuwata hurled 8 innings and gave up 1 run while the Giants scored 7 runs. The Tigers' skippered by the notorious Katsuya Nomura succumbed to its 7th straight loss on Apr. 17. The team lost to the Swallows--which Nomura skippered until last year 1 to 3. Current Swallows' skipper Tsutomu Wakamatsu had a great birthday celebration. But the Tigers' losing streak finished the next day with a 10 to 3 victory over the Swallows.

Dragons' Leo Gomez was terrible out in the field but a wonder with the bat on Apr. 18. He slammed 3 homers from the Giants. The team won the see saw game 9 to 7. The Giants started to win after that. On Apr. 24, the Giants' 2nd pick in last year's draft, Tomohiro Nioka, blasted a 2 run game winning homerun over the Bay Stars for the team's 4th straight win. Balvino Galvez picked up his 2nd win. The next day, Giants Masumi Kuwata earned his 2nd win too in a 6 to 1 game-- extending the team's winning streak to 5. On the other hand, last year's champion recorded its 6th defeat in a row in the 1 to 6 game. The Tigers are in great shape. It's won its 6th straight game by defeating the Swallows in a shut out game of 5 to 0. Even better, the Tigers attracted a fullhouse of 47,000. The leading team meanwhile lost its 3rd straight game to the Carp on Apr. 25. 1 to 4.

The Bay Stars at last won on Apr. 27--that's after losing 6 games in a row. It reversed the game against the Carp in the 8th inning by blasting in 5 runs. Kazuhiro Sasaki relieved the game, winning it 7 to 6. Similar wonders happened in the next 2 games giving the BayStars 3 straight victories. Sasaki on Apr. 29 recorded his 6th save already. The lucky player on the team seems to be newcomer Arquimedes Pozo. The teams doing well since he's shaved his head. On Apr. 30 the BayStars defeated the Swallows 9 to 3.

Team standing as of the end of April
1. Chunichi Dragons
2. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants
2. Hanshin Tigers
4. Yakult Swallows
5. Hiroshima Toyo Carp
6. Yokohama Bay Stars