2020 Nippon Professional Baseball season

The 2020 Nippon Professional Baseball season was the 71st season of professional baseball in Japan since Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) was reorganized in 1950. There were 12 NPB teams, split evenly between the Central League and Pacific League.

2020 NPB season
LeagueNippon Professional Baseball
SportBaseball
DurationJune 19 – November 25
Number of games120
Number of teams12
Central League Pennant
League championsYomiuri Giants
  Runners-upHanshin Tigers
Season MVPTomoyuki Sugano (Yomiuri)
Pacific League Pennant
League championsFukuoka SoftBank Hawks
  Runners-upChiba Lotte Marines
Season MVPYuki Yanagita (SoftBank)
Climax Series
CL championsN/A[1]
  CL runners-upN/A
PL championsFukuoka SoftBank Hawks
  PL runners-upChiba Lotte Marines
Japan Series
ChampionsFukuoka SoftBank Hawks
  Runners-upYomiuri Giants
Finals MVPRyoya Kurihara (SoftBank)
NPB seasons

Season scheduleEdit

The 2020 season was originally scheduled to begin on 20 March, with a break from 21 July to 13 August, for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.[1] On 26 February 2020, the league announced that its remaining spring training games would be held without fans in attendance, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.[2][3] With health related precautions in place, the media was allowed into some ballparks.[4] Following another league meeting on 9 March, commissioner Atsushi Saito stated that the 2020 season would be postponed until April.[5][6] Saito also said that the league aimed to retain a full regular season schedule of 143 games.[7] This announcement marked the first time since 2011 that a Nippon Professional Baseball season was delayed.[8]

On 18 April, the league announced that it would remain delayed indefinitely through the entirety of May, with the 18-game interleague schedule removed to accommodate a 125-game schedule. The delay of the 2020 Olympics meant that the three-week Olympic break would no longer be needed. Therefore, it was removed from the schedule.[9] Before the league began play, the 2020 season was shortened to 120 games, and scheduled to end on 7 November.[10][11] As a result of the condensed schedule, it was also announced that the First Stage of the Pacific League Climax Series would not be played, with the top two teams from the regular season competing in a best-of-5 Final Stage which the regular season winner enters with a one-game advantage. The Central League would do away with its Climax Series entirely, with its regular season winner advancing directly to the 2020 Japan Series.[12]

With the lifting of states of emergency over major Japanese cities, NPB announced that it would begin its regular season on 19 June behind closed doors. "Warm-up" games began 26 May.[13] All twelve NPB teams played on as scheduled on 19 June.[10] On 10 July NPB began allowing a limited number of fans to attend games, with plans to further ease restrictions in the near future.[14] On 19 September, attendance was expanded to a maximum of 20,000 fans per game, or 50% of stadium capacity.[15]

Regular season standingsEdit

Central League regular season standings[16]
Pos Team G W L T Pct. GB
1 Yomiuri Giants 120 67 45 8 .598 -
2 Hanshin Tigers 120 60 53 7 .531 7.5
3 Chunichi Dragons 120 60 55 5 .522 8.5
4 Yokohama DeNA BayStars 120 56 58 6 .491 12
5 Hiroshima Toyo Carp 120 52 56 12 .481 13
6 Tokyo Yakult Swallows 120 41 69 10 .373 25
Pacific League regular season standings[17]
Pos Team G W L T Pct. GB
1 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 120 73 42 5 .635 -
2 Chiba Lotte Marines 120 60 57 3 .513 14
3 Saitama Seibu Lions 120 58 58 4 .500 15.5
4 Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 120 55 57 8 .491 16.5
5 Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 120 53 62 5 .461 20
6 Orix Buffaloes 120 45 68 7 .398 27

Climax SeriesEdit

  Pacific League Climax Series     Japan Series
                 
    CL1 Yomiuri Giants 0
  1 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 3     PL1 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 4
  2 Chiba Lotte Marines 0  

Pacific LeagueEdit

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks won the series, 3–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 November 14 Chiba Lotte Marines – 3, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 4 PayPay Dome 3:19 19,901[18] 
2 November 15 Chiba Lotte Marines – 4, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 6 PayPay Dome 3:27 19,995[19]

Japan SeriesEdit

Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks won the series, 4–0.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 November 21 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 5, Yomiuri Giants – 1 Kyocera Dome Osaka 3:34 16,489[20] 
2 November 22 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 13, Yomiuri Giants – 2 Kyocera Dome Osaka 3:40 16,333[21] 
3 November 24 Yomiuri Giants – 0, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 4 PayPay Dome 2:58 17,297[22] 
4 November 25 Yomiuri Giants – 1, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks – 4 PayPay Dome 3:22 19,679[23]

League leadersEdit

Central LeagueEdit

Pacific LeagueEdit

AwardsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

NPB Awards
Central League Pacific League
Award Player Team Player Team
Rookie of the Year Masato Morishita Hiroshima Toyo Carp Kaima Taira Saitama Seibu Lions
Most Valuable Player Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants Yuki Yanagita Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Eiji Sawamura Award Yūdai Ōno Chunichi Dragons
Best Relief Pitcher Noboru Shimizu
Daisuke Sobue
Hiroto Fuku
Tokyo Yakult Swallows
Chunichi Dragons
Chunichi Dragons
Liván Moinelo Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Matsutaro Shoriki Award Kimiyasu Kudo Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Best Nine Award
Position Player Team Player Team
Pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants Kodai Senga Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Catcher Takumi Ohshiro Yomiuri Giants Takuya Kai Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
1st Base Munetaka Murakami Tokyo Yakult Swallows Sho Nakata Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
2nd Base Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Toyo Carp Hideto Asamura Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
3rd Base Kazuma Okamoto Yomiuri Giants Daichi Suzuki Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants Sosuke Genda Saitama Seibu Lions
Outfield Yoshihiro Maru Yomiuri Giants Masataka Yoshida Orix Buffaloes
Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Toyo Carp Kensuke Kondo Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Keita Sano Yokohama DeNA BayStars Yuki Yanagita Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Designated hitter Not applicable Takumi Kuriyama Saitama Seibu Lions
Mitsui Golden Glove Award
Central League Pacific League
Position Player Team Player Team
Pitcher Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants Kodai Senga Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Catcher Ryutaro Umeno Hanshin Tigers Takuya Kai Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
1st Base Dayán Viciedo Chunichi Dragons Akira Nakamura
Sho Nakata
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
2nd Base Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Toyo Carp Shuta Tonosaki Saitama Seibu Lions
3rd Base Shuhei Takahashi Chunichi Dragons Daichi Suzuki Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shortstop Hayato Sakamoto Yomiuri Giants Sosuke Genda Saitama Seibu Lions
Outfield Seiya Suzuki Hiroshima Toyo Carp Yuki Yanagita Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks
Yōhei Ōshima Chunichi Dragons Taishi Ohta Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Norichika Aoki Tokyo Yakult Swallows Haruki Nishikawa Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

1.^ The 2020 Central League Climax Series was cancelled. As a result, the regular season champion Yomiuri Giants advanced directly to the Japan Series.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Baseball: Fans asked to abort balloon launches over coronavirus threat". Kyodo News. February 8, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  2. ^ "Japanese pro baseball to restrict spectators from 72 preseason games". Japan Times. Kyodo News. February 26, 2020. Archived from the original on February 27, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020. Alt URL
  3. ^ Woods, Amanda (February 27, 2020). "Japanese baseball fans barred from preseason games over coronavirus fears". New York Post. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  4. ^ Coskrey, Jason (February 29, 2020). "Giants and Swallows compete without familiar sights and sounds at ballpark". Japan Times. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  5. ^ "Japan's pro baseball league delays season start over coronavirus". Kyodo News. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Virus postpones opening of Japanese pro baseball season". Taiwan News. Associated Press. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  7. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (March 9, 2020). "NPB to delay start of regular season due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreak". Japan Times. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  8. ^ "Start of Japan Pro Baseball Regular Season to Be Delayed". Jiji Press. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Japan's baseball league delayed again, no date set for start". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 18, 2020. Retrieved April 18, 2020.
  10. ^ a b "After three-month virus delay, Japan opens its shortened baseball season". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  11. ^ Nagatsuka, Kaz (May 25, 2020). "NPB can play ball in Japan from June 19, but minus fans". Japan Times. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  12. ^ "2020年度セ・パ公式戦 全試合日程発表". Nippon Professional Baseball. June 15, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  13. ^ Tarrant, Jack (May 25, 2020). "Baseball-Japan's baseball league to start on June 19". National Post. Reuters. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "お待たせ!プロ野球7・10に6球場一斉観客解禁…上限5000人". June 23, 2020. Archived from the original on July 21, 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2020. Retrieved November 8, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "2020 Central League Standings". Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "2020 Pacific League Standings". Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  18. ^ "Saturday, November 14, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  19. ^ "Sunday, November 15, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  20. ^ "Saturday, November 21, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 21, 2020.
  21. ^ "Sunday, November 22, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Tuesday, November 24, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  23. ^ "Wednesday, November 25, 2020". Nippon Professional Baseball. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  24. ^ "2020 Central League Qualifiers for Batting Championship". npb.jp.
  25. ^ "2020 Central League Qualifiers for Earned-Run Average Title & Top Relief Pitchers". npb.jp.
  26. ^ "2020 Pacific League Qualifiers for Batting Championship". npb.jp.
  27. ^ "2020 Pacific League Qualifiers for Earned-Run Average Title & Top Relief Pitchers". npb.jp.