2016 Japan Series
The 2016 Japan Series was the 67th edition of Nippon Professional Baseball's postseason championship series. The Hiroshima Toyo Carp, champions of the Central League, played the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, champions of the Pacific League, in a best-of-seven series beginning on October 22. The Japan Series was sponsored by the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and was officially known as the 2016 SMBC Nippon Series.
|2016 Japan Series|
|Dates||October 22–29, 2016|
|Television||TBS (Games 1, 4)|
Fuji TV (Game 2)
TV Asahi (Games 3, 5)
Nippon TV (Game 6)
The Fighters defeated the Carp in six games. Hiroshima took the first two games, and Hokkaido won the next four games to take the series. Hokkaido's Brandon Laird won the Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award, and Hiroshima's Brad Eldred won the Fighting Spirit Award, given to the best player on the losing team. Anthony Bass, Sho Nakata, and Haruki Nishikawa won outstanding player honors
|First Stage||Final Stage||Japan Series|
|Central League||C1||Hiroshima Toyo Carp||4|
|C2||Yomiuri Giants||1||C3||Yokohama DeNA BayStars||1|
|C3||Yokohama DeNA BayStars||2||C1||Hiroshima Toyo Carp||2|
|P1||Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters||4|
|Pacific League||P1||Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters||4|
|P2||Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks||2||P2||Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks||2|
|P3||Chiba Lotte Marines||0|
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters defeated the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in the Pacific League Climax Series, four games to two. Sho Nakata was named the most valuable player of the series. The Fighters last won the Japan Series in 2006. They lost the Japan Series in 2007, 2009, and 2012.
The Hiroshima Toyo Carp defeated the Yokohama DeNA BayStars in the Central League Climax Series, four games to one. Kosuke Tanaka was named the series' most valuable player. Hiroshima had not appeared in the Japan Series since 1991. Hiroshima pitcher Hiroki Kuroda announced that he would retire following the series.
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters won the series, 4–2.
|1||October 22||Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 1, Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 5||Mazda Stadium||3:39||30,619|
|2||October 23||Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 1, Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 5||Mazda Stadium||3:18||30,638|
|3||October 25||Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 3, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 4 (10)||Sapporo Dome||3:51||40,503|
|4||October 26||Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 1, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 3||Sapporo Dome||3:30||40,599|
|5||October 27||Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 1, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 5||Sapporo Dome||3:32||40,633|
|6||October 29||Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters – 10, Hiroshima Toyo Carp – 4||Mazda Stadium||4:01||30,693|
|WP: Kris Johnson (1–0) LP: Shohei Ohtani (0–1)|
HOK: Brandon Laird (1)
HIR: Ryuhei Matsuyama (1), Brad Eldred (1)
Kris Johnson, the Carp's starting pitcher, allowed one run in 6 2⁄3 innings pitched, while Hokkaido's Shohei Ohtani allowed three runs in six innings. Hiroshima's Ryuhei Matsuyama and Brad Eldred both hit home runs off of Ohtani in the fourth inning, while Hokkaido's Brandon Laird hit a home run in the seventh inning. Hiroshima responded in the seventh inning with a run batted in (RBI) single by Yoshihiro Maru and a RBI sacrifice fly by Eldred.
|WP: Yusuke Nomura (1–0) LP: Hirotoshi Masui (0–1)|
HIR: Brad Eldred (2)
Yui Kamiji threw the ceremonial first pitch. The Carp broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning, which included Eldred's second home run of the series. Yusuke Nomura, who led the Central League with 16 wins during the regular season, allowed one unearned run in six innings pitched for Hiroshima.
|WP: Anthony Bass (1–0) LP: Daichi Osera (0–1)|
HIR: Brad Eldred (3)
Kuroda allowed one run in 5 2⁄3 innings for the Carp, leaving the game due to a leg injury. Eldred hit a two-run home run, his third of the series. Hokkaido took the lead with a two RBI double by Sho Nakata in the eighth inning, and Tomohiro Abe tied the game for Hiroshima with an RBI single in the ninth inning. Ohtani, playing as Hokkaido's designated hitter, hit two doubles earlier in the game and drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the tenth inning, scoring Haruki Nishikawa.
|WP: Keisuke Tanimoto (1–0) LP: Jay Jackson (0–1) Sv: Naoki Miyanishi (1)|
HOK: Sho Nakata (1), Brandon Laird (2)
Hiroshima took a 1–0 lead in the fourth inning, when Takahiro Arai scored on an error committed by Kensuke Kondo. Hokkaido's Sho Nakata hit a home run to tie the game in the sixth inning. Brandon Laird broke the tie with a two-run home run in the eighth inning for Hokkaido. Hiroshima had the bases loaded in the ninth inning, but Naoki Miyanishi recorded the save by striking out Yoshihiro Maru.
|WP: Anthony Bass (2–0) LP: Shota Nakazaki (0–1)|
HOK: Haruki Nishikawa
Johnson started Game 5 for Hiroshima, while Takayuki Kato started for Hokkaido. Seiya Suzuki had an RBI single in the first inning for Hiroshima. Kato failed to complete the second inning, and Luis Mendoza threw 5 2⁄3 scoreless innings for the Fighters. Johnson did not allow a run in six innings pitched. Takuya Nakashima had an RBI single to tie the game for Hokkaido in the seventh inning. Nishikawa hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning for Hokkaido.
|WP: Anthony Bass (3–0) LP: Jay Jackson (0–2)|
HOK: Brandon Laird (3)
HIR: Yoshihiro Maru (1)
With the game tied 4–4 in the eighth inning, Nakata drew a bases loaded walk, Anthony Bass hit an RBI single, and Laird hit a grand slam. Laird, who hit three home runs in the series, won the Japan Series Most Valuable Player Award, while Eldred won the Fighting Spirit Award, given to the best player on the losing team. Bass, Nakata, and Nishikawa earned outstanding player honors for the series.
- "Carp pitcher Kuroda announces decision to retire after Japan Series". October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016 – via Japan Times Online.
- "Fighters beat Hawks 7–4 to reach Japan Series ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion". Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Never-say-die attitude takes Fighters to Japan Series". The Japan Times. October 16, 2016. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
- "Carp hold off BayStars, advance to Japan Series for first time since 1991". October 15, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016 – via Japan Times Online.
- "Ex-Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to retire, wants beer shower". NJ.com. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Saturday, October 22, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- "Sunday, October 23, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Tuesday, October 25, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Wednesday, October 26, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Thursday, October 27, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- "Saturday, October 29, 2016". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 23, 2016). "Carp capitalize on big plays, stellar pitching to beat Fighters in Game 1". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
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- Coskrey, Jason (October 23, 2016). "Carp sink Fighters to take 2–0 Japan Series lead". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 26, 2016). "Otani delivers game-winning single in 10th as Fighters prevail in Game 3". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 27, 2016). "Laird sends Fighters past Carp to tie Japan Series". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 27, 2016). "Late-game heroics propel Fighters to brink of Japan Series title: Haruki Nishikawa slugs game-winning grand slam in ninth inning". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Coskrey, Jason (October 29, 2016). "Fighters wrap up Japan Series title with dramatic eighth-inning fireworks". The Japan Times. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
- "Former Yankee Laird leads Nippon Ham to Japan Series title". USA Today. Associated Press. October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.