Pacific League champion: SEIBU LIONS
Play offs 2nd stage:Lions vs Hawks
Oct 11
The Hawks was the first to score with Kenji Jojima's home run. He blasted of Daisuke Matsuzaka. But the Lions came back and took 3 runs from the Hawks starter Nagisa Arakaki. In the 9th inning, the Hawks cuaght up. But in the 10th, Toshiaki Inubushi's sacrifice fly gave the Lions a 4 to 3 win. It's clinched the Pacific League title for the 15th time.

Oct 10
The Hawks Munenori Kawasaki had 2 RBIs including a home run, which helped the Hawks defeat the Lions 4 to 1.

Oct 9
The Lions scored first on Jose Fernandez's 2 run homer in the first inning and another run batted in by him. Then the Hawks Tadahito Iguchi, Kenji Jojima homered.The Hawks breezed ahead. But the Lions quickly caught up and with Noda's home run took the lead. The Lions clinched its 2nd game in a row, winning this one 6 to 5.
Oct 7
Tsuyoshi Wada started for the Hawks. For the Lions, it was Daisuke Matsuzaka. Wada was not in good shape. He lost runs after another. Kazuhiro Wada's grand slam was decisive. The Hawks lost this time 1 to 11.
Oct 6
The series opened at the Fukuoka Dome. The Hawks accumulated runs from the first inning clobbering the Lions' starter Takashi Ishii. In the 7th inning, the Hawks batters were especially awesome. Tadahito Iguchi, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Julio Zuleta all homered. In the 9th inning the Lions Alex Cabrera slammed a 2 run homer. But it wasn't enough. The Hawks won the first game 9 to 3.

Play offs 1st stage: Lions vs Fighters
Oct 1
The Fighters Michihiro Ogasawara slammed a 3 run homer off the Lions starter Daisuke Matsuzaka to help his team catch up. But the Lions Jose Fernandez's grand slammed. The Lions won the first game 10 to 7.
Oct 2
In the first inning, Michihiro Ogasawara homered off Lions starter Chang Chih-chia. The Lions quickly equalized. But Ogasawara again hit in a run. Then from there, the Fighters had more runs. But in the 9th inning the Lions fought back. It wasn't enough though. The Fighters clinched the game 5 to 4.
Oct 3
The winner of this game gets to face Hawks next. In the 3rd inning, the Lions Alex Cabrera grand slammed to take the lead from the Fighters. In the 9th, the Fighters' Kuniyuki Kimoto homered a 2 run to catch up. But in the bottom of that inning, the Lions'Kazuhiro Wada finished the game with his homerun. The game ended 6 to 5 for the Lions. The Lions at the same time has qualified to face the Hawks.

Olympic pitchers were in every game on Sept 1. Tsuyoshi Wada started for the Hawks. The Hawks beat the Fighters 6 to 5. The Lions started was Daisuke Matsuzaka. He shut out the Marines and struck out 16 in a 2 to 0 game. The Buffaloes Hisashi Iwakuma hurled over the distance to help his team win 4 to 3 over the BlueWave.

On Sept 3, the Hawks beat the Buffaloes, 6 to 4. The Lions, however lost 2 to 3 against the Fighters. The next day the Fighters won again on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's 2 run homer. The Hawks contined to win 5 to 4 and again on Sept 5, 6 to 5. The Lions at last won 4 to 1.

On Sept 7, the Hawks beat the Marines 7 to 4. It won against 5 to 2 despite violence on the field due to a dangerous pitch.

Baseball strike was put off on the weekend of Sept 11 and 12 since the players union saw some progress in talks with the owners. The team in the center of attention, the Buffaloes beat the Hawks with Norihiro Nakamura's 3 run homer. The BlueWave too, beat the Lions 7 to 5. On Sept 12, the Hawks Nobuhiko Matsunaka slammed a 2 run, to be the top contestant for a triple crown. His team also won 5 to 2. The Lions too won 6 to 2, on a grand slam by Kazuhiro Wada.

The Hawks Nobuhiko Matsunaka improved his record with his 44th home run and another RBI to help his team win 5 to 3 over the BlueWave, on Sept 14. The Lions won too 8 to 4 against the Fighters. The Marines, by winning 8 to 1 over the Buffaloes replaced the Fighters for 3rd place. The next day, however, the Fighter won, 12 to 4 against the Lions, and the Marines lost 0 to 2, so they reversed their standing again.

The Lions faced the Hawks on Sept 17. The Lions won 6 to 2. The Marines replaced the Fighters for 3rd place again that day but beating the Blue Wave 5 to 2, while the Fighters lost to the Buffaloes 4 to 1. That evening, it was decided by the players' union that baseball will go on strike for the first time ever the weekend of 18th and 19th.

Fans were waiting. It was clear as stadiums on Sept 20 attracted a huge crowd. The Sapporo Dome attracted the most ever with 42,000. And the game was amazing. The Fighters, on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's home run clinched the game from the Hawks 13 to 12. The Lions beat the Marines 6 to 1. On Sept 21, the Fighters won again over the Hawks on 2 run-homer by Tsuyoshi Shinjo, 6 to 5. The Lions lost to the Marines 5 to 6.

On Sept 23, the Hawks clinched a competitive game in the 12th inning via Tadahito Iguchi's home run. It was 7 to 6 over the Fighters. It was the Hawks' last game of the season at the Fukuoka Dome. The Buffaloes, the next day played its last game at the Osaka Dome. In fact, the team will no longer exist next season. The Buffaloes ended the historic game by clinching it in the 11th inning 3 to 2 over the Lions. The day, the Fighters beat the BlueWave 7 to 4, and if the games not played due to a strike a week ago are not rescheduled, the Fighters get to go to the playoffs.

On Sept 27, it was decided that the cancelled games will not be rescheduled. And as a result the Hawks' Nobuhiko Matsunaka clinched the triple crown. It's the first time in 18 years that a triple crown was won by a player. And on this day, the very last game was played between 2 teams that will merge. The Orix Blue Wave defeated the Kintetsu Buffaloes 7 to 2. From next season, they'll be one team and called Orix Buffaloes.

Final league standing
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Nippon Ham Fighters
4.Chiba Lotte Marines
5.Kintetsu Buffaloes
6.Orix Blue Wave Osaka

The Hawks finished the game defeating the Fighers 8 to 7, while the Lions lost in the end to the Marines 3 to 4 on Aug 1.

On Aug 2, the Lions lost in the 12th inning to the BlueWave,3 to 1. It's the last game for Daisuke Matsuzaka before leaving for the Olympic Games. On Aug 3, the Lions at last won to halt its losing streak at 3. It's 5 to 3. The leader, the Hawks beat the Marines 7 to 2 on Nobuhiko Matsunaka's 3 run homer. The Lions won agains the next day 7 to 2. The Hawks continued to extend its winning streak winning 6 to 4 even without its main catcher Kenji Jojima who's left for the Olympic Games.

The Hawks on Aug 6 had a strong win of 14 to 5 over the BlueWave, and won the next 2 games. The Lions lost on Aug 6 to the Buffaloes, 2 to 7. The next 2 days it won.

The top 2 teams faced eachother from Aug 9. The Lions clinched all 3 games. In the last one, Alex Cabrera slammed 2 homers to win 7 to 0. The Marines on Aug 12 clinched the game in the 12th inning on Koichi Hori's home run. It's 6 to 5 against the Buffaloes.

On Aug 13, the Hawks Saito shut out the Buffaloes to win his 9th game. It was 5 to 0. The Lions also won, beating the Fighters 4 to 0. The next day the top 2 teams won again. The Hawks 5 to 1, while the Lions 10 to 4 to extend its winning streak to 7. On Aug 15, the Hawks lost 1 to 2. The Lions too lost 4 to 7.

The Lions played a seesaw game against the Marines on Aug 16. But in the end won it in the 10th inning 11 to 10 to inch closer to the Hawks. The Hawks on Aug 17 tied with the Fighters while the Lions lost. A losing streak continued to Aug 21 for the Hawks.

On Aug 23, the Lions lost to the Buffaloes. The next day, it won on Jose Fernandez's home run.On Aug 25,however it lost. The Hawks beat the BlueWave in 2 straight games from Aug 24.

On Aug 27, the BlueWave and the Buffaloes signed an agreement to merge. It included the possible withdrawal of the Kintetsu from baseball in 3 years. But the contract has yet to be approved by the league owners. That day, the Hawks clinched a whopping 20 to 4 win against the Lions. In this game fans were given a surprise present. Catcher Kenji Jojima who returned from the Olympic Games in Athens, on the same day made it to Seibu Stadium in the 7th inning, and gave a homecoming appearance as a pinch hitter. On Aug 28, the Lions won 3 to 2, by starting off with a 2 run homer by Alex Cabrera.

The Lions lost to the Marines 1 to 12 on Aug 30, but the Lions won the next day. On Aug 31, the Hawks lost to the Fighters 2 to 12.

League standing as of end of August
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Chiba Lotte Marines
4.Nippon Ham Fighters
5.Kintetsu Buffaloes
6.Orix Blue Wave Osaka

The Marines on July 2 extended its winning streak to 5 defeating the Hawks 13 to 1. And it won again the next day 13 to 6. On Jul 3, the Hawks shut out the Marines 7 to 0. The Lions Alex Cabrera hit his first homerun of the season on July 2. He slammed his 2nd one too, and the Lions won 7 to 4 over the Fighters. But the result of the game was reversed the next day with Fernando Seguignol's 29th 3 run homer. On Jul 4, the Lions beat the Fighters 8 to 1.

The top teams faced eachother from Jul 6, and the Lions clinched the first game 12 to 1. The Lions replaced the Hawks for first place. The Marines rose to 3rd place defeating the BlueWave 2 to 0. The Buffaloes' Hisashi Iwakuma clinched his 12th straight win. On Jul 7, the Lions and the Hawks rank was reversed again since the Hawks won on its pitcher Nagisa Arakaki's over the distance pitch in a 5 to 2 game. The Fighters secured back 3rd place beating the Buffloes 3 to 1. Then on Jul 8, the Lions won 3 to 1 to take back first place.

In the first game after the all star break, on July 16, the Lions walked with bases loaded,and won the game 2 to 1 against the BlueWave. The Hawks lost to the Buffaloes 5 to 12. The Marines on Matt Franco's 3-run won 8 to 2. On Jul 17, the BlueWave defeated the Lions, but lost the next day. The Hawks won on Jul 17, but had to succumb to a 7 to 8 lost the next day.

The Hawks Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Julio Zuleta slammed 2 homers each on Jul 19. The Hawks won 10 to 1 over the BlueWave. The Lions Daisuke Matsuzaka started but lost to the Fighters 2 to 3. The Hawks replaced the Lions for first place. On Jul 20, Matsunaka homered again, this time a 3 run, to help his team win 5 to 3. That day, the Buffaloes Hisashi Iwakuma's winning streak was halted in a 3 to 9 game against the Marines. On Jul 21, Matsunaka slammed a home run for 5 games in a row. The Hawks won 6 to 0. The Lions managed to win, this time, 10 to 5 on Alex Cabrera's 2 run homer.

On Jul 23, the Hawks Nobuhiko Matsunaka slammed a home run for the 6th game in a row. The Hawks won 6 to 4 against the Marines. But it lost the next day 4 to 6. And it could not score at all on Jul 25, to finish the game a draw. The Lions meanwhile, lost 2 straight games. On Jul 25, it managed to beat the Buffaloes 13 to 4.

On Jul 26, the Hawks lost to the Lions 8 to 3. The Lions Jose Fernandez homered twice. The Marines Lee Seung Yeop homered his 10th, and the Marines won 9 to 5 over the BlueWave. On Jul 27, the Hawks Nagisa Arakaki hurled over the distance and his team won 4 to 2. The Fighters that day won on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's and Fernando Seguignol's 2 run homer each, 8 to 3 against the Buffaloes.

The Lions on Jul 30 on Alex Cabrera's 2 run and Jose Fernandez's 3 run beat the Marines 11 to 2. The Hawks won too 5 to 2 over the Fighters. But it was the other way around for both teams on Jul 31. The Marines caught up a game 7 runs behind, and in the 11th inning won, 9 to 8. The Hakws lost 2 to 5 to the Fighters.

League standing as of end of July
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Nippon Ham Fighters
4.Kintetsu Buffaloes
5.Chiba Lotte Marines
6.Orix Blue Wave Osaka

The Hawks winning streak was halted at 5 on June 1 in a 6 to 13 game against the Marines, and because the Lions beat the BlueWave 3 to 1, the Hawks slipped to 2nd place. On June 2, the Marines helped Tomohiro Kuroki won his first game in 3 years in a 15 to 5 game.

On June 4 Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop was back after spending some time on the farm team. The Marines won again, this time against the Buffaloes 7 to 5. And then on June 5, 4 to 3 for its 4th straight win. The two top teams faced eathother that day. The Lions clinched the game in the final inning 9 to 8 over the Hawks. On June 6, the Hawks won 7 to 6 on Tadahito Iguchi's 3 run home run.

Baseball legend Sadaharu Oh on June 7, clinched his 1000th win as pro baseball manager. He's the 11th in Japanese baseball history to mark the record, and he holds the most wins among all active managers. The day was celebrated with the Hawks 9 to 6 win over the Fighters. The next day the Hawks won again 7 to 1. The Lions lost to the Buffaloes 1 to 10. The Hawks Julio Zuleta was amazing on June 9. He had a 3 run homer, twice to take his team to a 8 to 4 win.

The Hawks on June 11, won again, on Kenji Jojima's two, 3-run homers, 11 to 2 against the BlueWave. The Lions did too, in an 11 inning game 2 to 1 over the Marines. The next day the Lions lost 2 to 9, and the Hawks replaced it for first place.

A shocking news on June 13. It was learned that the Buffaloes was in negotiation with the BlueWave for a possible merger. If this happens, it'll mean there'll be only 5 teams in the league. The BlueWave lost its 4th game in a row that day, 6 to 11 against the Hawks. The Buffaloes managed to clinch the game against the Fighters 8 to 7.

The Hawks on June 15 clinched its 8th win in a row against the Buffaloes 6 to 5. The Lions stayed close behind beating the BlueWave 13 to 3. But the next day,the Lions had a devastating loss of 8 to 20. The Hawks winning streak stretched to 9 with a 1 to 0 win in the 10th inning.

The Hawks cannot be stopped. It won on June 18, 7 to 3 over the Marines, then again the next day 6 to 4, for its 11th straight win. Julio Zuleta contributed with a grand slam. Its winning streat stopped finally on June 20, in a 5 to 6 game.

Alex Cabrera of the Lions was back on June 21 after the injury that took him out from the first half of the season. But he failed to contribute, and his team lost 2 to 4 against BlueWave. The next day Daisuke Matsuzaka shut out the BlueWave in a 6 to 0 game. The Hawks too won 3 to 2 against the Fighters. On June 23, the Lions won 1 to 0 while the Hawks lost 0 to 3 to bring the 2 teams closer.

The Hawks Kenji Jojima was amazing on June 25, he had 2 homers to lead the league. The Hawks won 8 to 2 against the Buffaloes. But the next day, the Buffaloes won 3 to 1 on Norihiro Nakamura's home run. On June 27, the Hawks wacked the Buffaloes with homers by Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Kenji Jojima, for a 12 to 2 win. By the way, that day the Fighters' superstar Tsuyoshi Shinjo slammed 2 homers to help his team defeat the BlueWave 6 to 2.

On June 29, the league's best pitchers faced eachother. The Lions Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Buffaloes Hisashi Iwakuma started. The game went into the 10th inning which Matsuzaka pitched but Iwakuma did not. And it was the Lions which clinched the game 1 to 0. On June 30 Kenji Jojima was awesome. He had 2 single home runs, and a 3 run homer to help the Hawks win 8 to 0 against the BlueWave.

League standing as of end of June
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Nippon Ham Fighters
4.Chiba Lotte Marines
5.Kintetsu Buffaloes
6.Orix Blue Wave Osaka

On May 1, Angel Echevarria homered 3 times and took the Fighters to a 9 to 2 victory over the BlueWave. The Hawks faced defeat against the Buffaloes 5 to 6, and again on May 2, 1 to 2.

On May 3 the Hawks lost to the Fighter 4 to 7, and too another loss the next day. Finally on May 5, its winning streak ended in a 4 to 2 game. On May 3, the Buffaloes' Hisashi Iwakuma hurled over the distance and earned his 6th win in a 10 to 2 game over the Lions.

The Lions, kept its top position by beating the Fighters on May 7, 3 to 0 and, 8 to 2 the next day. But on May 9, it lost 1 to 2. The good news for the Marines was that on May 8, veteran pitcher Satoru Komiyama hurled until the 8th inning and earned his first win in a 3 to 1 game against the Buffaloes. It's his first win since he left the MLB 2 years ago. The Hawks lost to the BlueWave on May 7, but won 7 to 3 the next with good pitching by Nagisa Arakaki, and on May 9, 8 to 7.

On May 10, the Marines and the Fighters played an exciting game that involved 7 home runs. The Fighter in the end won 10 to 7. The next day, the Fighters won again, and that's against Tomokazu Kuroki, 4 to 3. On May 11, the top 2 teams faced eachother. Daisuke Matsuzaka helped his team win 2 to 1 over the Hawks by hurling over the distance. The Lions won again the following day 13 to 3. Also on May 12, Yusaku Iriki, formerly with the Giants won his first game as a member of the Fighters in a 20 to 2 victory over the Marines.

The Lions clinched it's 3rd win in a row on May 15 defeating the Buffaloes 7 to 3, to keep the top post. The Marines extended its losing streak to 6 that day, in a outrageous 0 to 21 loss against the Hawks. This was finally stopped on May 17 winning 6 to 4. The Buffaloes' Hisashi Iwakuma is a wonder. Already on May 16, he clinched his 8th win in a row in a 7 to 1 game against the Lions.

The Lions Daisuke Matsuzaka won his 4th game on May 17. It's in a 4 to 2 game against the BlueWave. The Marines losing streak ended that day by defeating the Fighters 6 to 4. The Hawks lost to the Buffaloes 4 to 6, but the next day, Kenji Jojima's 3 run homer haled the team win 4 to 2. And on May 19, it managed to win 6 to 5 with Kenji Jojima and Tadahito Iguchi's homers. Other games that day were rained out.

Top runners faced eachother. The Hawks Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 12 and the Hawks beat the Lions 6 to 3 on May 21. The Lions won the next day, but the Hawks on May 23 clinched the game with Nobuhiko Matsunaka's 2 run homer. The Fighters' Fernando Seguignol hit a homer each from both sides of home plate on May 21. And also with Tsuyoshi Shinjo's home run, the Fighter beat the Buffaloes 9 to 5. The next day, the Buffaloes Hisashi Iwakuma won again, his 9th in a row in a 5 to 1 game. On May 23, the Marines Tomohiro Kuroki started and hurled 6 innings. The BlueWave after he was off the mound caught up with the Marines, but in the end the Marines won 3 to 1.

The Lions did not play easy games against the Marines from May 24, although it won the first of the series. It lost in an 11th inning game and tied in a 12th inning game. The runner up, the Hawks managed to clinch its first game against the Fighters with Kenji Jojima's 2 run homer, to win 16 to 3. The next one it lost, succumbing to homers by Tsuyoshi Shinjo and Angel Enchevarria. On May 26, the Hawks won 5 to 1.

In the only game on May 28, the Hawks Tsuyoshi Wada hurled over the distance and his team won 6 to 1 against the BlueWave. On May 29, the Hawks won again, and also on May 30 with homers by Kenji Jojima. The top runner, the Lions lost 1 to 4 against the Fighters on May 29, and won 6 to 2 the next day.

In the only game on May 31, the Hawks beat the Marines 5 to 4 and tied with the Lions for first place.

League standing as of end of May
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
1.Seibu Lions
3.Nippon Ham Fighters
4.Kintetsu Buffaloes
5.Orix Blue Wave Osaka
6.Chiba Lotte Marines

For the first time, the Fighters played home, at the Sapporo Dome on Apr 2.And it won 5 to 1 over the Lions. The Hawks Kenji Jojima homered to equalize with the Marines in the 9th inning. But in the bottom of that inning, with bases loaded, a runner was walked and the Marines won at home for the first time this season. The Buffaloes Norihiro Nakamura slammed his first home run of the season, a 2 run. And helped his team win 10 to 9 over the BlueWave. The Marines won the next day 5 to 2 with Nate Minchey winning the game. The Marines new Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop homered for the first time on Apr 4. It's a 2 run. It was so huge, it went out the ballpark and hit a van parked outside. The team won again 11 to 4 over the Hawks, climbing to first place in the league.

On Apr 6, the Buffaloes won dramatically. In the 10th inning, Norihiro Nakamura homered to give his team a 2 to 1 win over the Hawks. The Lions clinched this 4th game in a row, beating the BlueWave 15 to 5.

An exciting game between the Hawks and the Fighters on Apr 9. Nobuhiko Matsunaga grand slammed. Then the Fighters Tsuyoshi Shinjo had a 3 run homer.But in the end the Hawks won 7 to 6. The Lions ace pitcher Daisuke Matsunaka struck out 10 and finally clinched a win.It was against the Buffaloes 1 to 0. The next day the Hawks faced a devastating defeat of 1 to 11. The Buffaloes beat the Lions 2 to 6. The Marines lost its 2nd game in a row. On Apr 11, the Lions by defeated the Buffaloes with Tsuyoshi Wada's grand slam in the final inning emerged to first place.

The Hawks' Kenji Jojima grand slammed to help his team win 6 to 5 over the Buffaloes on Apr 12. The Hawks til Apr 14 clinched its 3 wins in a row. The Lions are doing even better. Jose Fernandez's homer helped it win over the Marines 0 to 4 on Apr 12. The next day, 9 to 5 with Hiroyuki Nakajima's grand slam. On Apr 14 it won 5 to 3, while the Marines succumbed to its 8th straight loss.

On Apr 16, the Lions clinched its 5th straight win, in a shut out game achieved by Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Marines fell to last place losing its 9th game in a row. It lost 1 to 2 against the Fighters. The Marines former ace pitcher Tomohiro Kuroki was on the next day in hope of saving his team. Although he didn't do too bad, lasting til the 7th inning giving up 3 runs, the Marines lost 2 to 6. The Lions meanwhile kept its lead by clinching the game against the Hawks in the 9th inning for a 8 to 7 win. On Apr 18, the Marines at last won. It was 13 to 2 over the Fighters. The Hawks Nagisa Arakaki won his first game by hurling over the distance. It was in a 6 to 3 game against the Lions.

The Marines' Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop at last homered on Apr 19, after 2 weeks of quiet. And his team won 5 to 2 over the Buffaloes. It had a dramatic win the next day on Kiyoshi Hatsushiba's "sayonara" run to win 4 to 3. On Apr 21, the Marines won its 3rd game in a row. The Lions sprees ahead. It won 7 to 3 against the Fighters on Jose Fernandez's 2 run on Apr 19. Then it won again 8 to 3 the next day, but lost on Apr 21 7 to 10 to Tsuyoshi Shinjo's 2 homers.

The Hawks on Apr 23 won 5 to 3 over the Fighters, and again the next day 10 to 4 on Nobuhiko Matsunaka's 3 run homer to win first place.The Hawks clinched its 6 win in a row the next day in a 7 to 5 game. The Marines Tomohiro Kuroki started for the 2nd time on Apr 24 before a crowd of 30,000. He lasted 7 innings giving up 2 runs. When he was leaving the mound, the spectators give him a big applause. But in the end, the Marines lost 1 to 2 against the BlueWave, and again in a close game the next day, 4 to 5.

The Buffaloes Hisashi Iwakuma struck out 10 and clinched his 5th win already on Apr 27 in a 11 to 2 game over the Fighters. The Fighters the next day won 8 to 15, halting its consecutive loss at 4. The Lions this day surged to first place by defeating the Blue Wave 10 to 1. It kept its post on Apr 29 despite Daisuke Matsuzaka's bad performance which gave the Lions a 7 to 14 loss. But it slipped from the top post the next day losing to the Marines 0 to 3

League standing as of end of April
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Chiba Lotte Marines
4.Orix Blue Wave Osaka
5.Nippon Ham Fighters
6.Kintetsu Buffaloes

On March 27, the league opened the season. Last year's champion, the Hawks played a competitive game against the BlueWave. With the game a tie in the 8th inning, Julio Zuleta drove in a run. The Hawks won 4 to 3. Led by Bobby Valentines, the Marines played against the Lions. In the first inning newly acquired Korean slugger Lee Seung Yeop doubled, and in the 3rd, Koichi Hori slammed a 2 run homer off Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Lions' new manager Tsutomu Ito had a bitter opener. The Marines won 5 to 3. It was clear Tsuyoshi Shinjo was trying to help the Fighters win with a bunt and 2 base hits. But his team lost 2 to 6 to the Buffaloes. The Hawks Arihito Muramatsu grand slammed but his team lost 9 to 11 to the Blue Wave on Mar 28. The Lions won under its new manager for the first time 3 to 2. The Fighters' new star Tsuyoshi Shinjo homered a 3 run, but his team in the end lost to the Buffaloes 5 to 6.

A tense game was held between the Hawks and the Lions on Mar 28. Julio Zelata was hit by the ball twice. The Hawks won 11 to 6.The Marines shut out the Buffaloes 7 to 0. The BlueWave's Roosevelt Brown homered twice to help his team win 11 to 8 over the Fighters. Trey Moore struck out 11 in 7 innings. Amazing is that Nobuhiko Matsunaka already recorded his 4th homer on Mar 31. Before him, Tadahito Iguchi homered. The Lions faced its 3rd loss in a row in a 4 to 6 game against the Hawks. Satoru Komiyama pitched for the first time in more than 800 days, thanks to manager Bobby Valentine. It was too bad he gave up 3 runs in 4 innings, that weighed heavily on the out come of the game. The Marines lost 0 to 3 to the Buffaloes.

League standing as of end of March
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Chiba Lotte Marines
2.Kintetsu Buffaloes
4.Orix Blue Wave Osaka
5.Nippon Ham Fighters
6.Seibu Lions


Final league standing of 2003
1.Fukuoka Daiei Hawks
2.Seibu Lions
3.Kintetsu Buffaloes
4.Chiba Lotte Marines
5.Nippon Ham Fighters
6.Orix Blue Wave Osaka