2002 JAPAN SERIES: Seibu Lions vs Tokyo Giants

Champion: Tokyo Giants
4 games to 0
Most Valuable Player: Tomohiro Nioka

October 30 at Seibu Dome (audience 31,072 )
Up and coming Nobuyuki Saitoh of the Giants slammed a 2 run homer in the 2nd inning. The Lions caught up with Thomas Evans' 2 run. And in the 6th inning, as to show that the Lions still had hope,Daisuke Matsuzaka took over the mound. But he hit 2 players and then was clobbered. In the end, the Giants won 6 to 2, and clinched that Japan Series. Rookie skipper Tatsunori Hara was in tears. It's the Giants' 20th championship victory, but the first time to win 4 games in a row in the series.

October 29 at Seibu Dome (audience 30,933 )
For the first time this Japan Series, the Lions scored first. Alex Cabrera hit home a runner in the first inning. But the Giants Kazuhiro Kiyohara, the next inning homered, bringing the game to a tie. Then in the 3rd inning, the Giants took the lead. The big blow to the Lions came in the 4th inning. Tomohiro Nioka grand slammed. The Giants won its 3rd game in a row 10 to 2. 39 year old veteran Kimiyasu Kudo making his 14th Japan Series appearance hurled 8 innings.

October 27 at Tokyo Dome (audience 45,223 )
The Giants' 34-year old Masumi Kuwata started in the Japan Series for the first time since 1994. The former ace had a tough start. He got the bases loaded in the 1st inning. It included a pitch hitting Alex Cabrera giving him a walk. But Kuwata was able to finish that inning without losing a run. In the bottom of that inning, Hideki Matsui hit a runner back home. In the 3rd, Masumi Kuwata grounded to center, and he came home too. From there on, the Giants accumulated runs. 6 in all, just that inning. Although Alex Cabrera slammed a 2 run homer in the 8th,the Lions lost again. It's 4 to 9.

October 26 at Tokyo Dome (audience 45,107)
The opening pitcher for the Japan Series was former yokozuna Kitanoumi who is currently the chairman of Japan Sumo Association. He easily hurled the ball to the catcher. The Giants started Koji Uehara had a tough first inning, hit to center by Kazuo Matsui on his first pitch, and getting 2 runners on base. But it didn't get worse than that. It was in the 3rd inning, the Giants Takayuki Shimizu slammed a 2 run homer. And to the delight of fans, Kazuhiro Kiyohara banged the ball into the ad above the outfield bleachers. It was also a 3 run. The Lions star pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka was finished. On the other hand, Uehara pitched smoothly thereafter until the 9th inning, when he gave up a homer to Alex Cabrera. But Uehara was superb, striking out 12. The Giants clinched the first game 4 to 1.