Bailey Stephens of MLB.com has an update from our baseball friends overseas.
The Chibba Lotte Marines defeated the Chunichi Dragons 8-7 on Sunday to win the Japan Series — a series that featured the longest game in the league’s history.
The Marines and Dragons battled to a 2-2 tie* after six hours and 43 minutes in Game 6 Saturday.
That led to Sunday’s decisive Game 7, whenYoshifumi Okada knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the top of the 12th to lead the Marines to the club’s first Japan Series title since 2005. Current ESPN analyst and active managerial candidate Bobby Valentine was that 2005 team’s manager.
The Marines finished third place in the Pacific League regular season standings, but had a Giants-like run through the playoffs.
*Bud Selig was not spotted in the stands. No word yet on whether he called for the cease in action from another locale.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon was once again ejected from an NLCS game, this time in Game 4.
In the top of the eighth inning, closer Wade Davis found himself in a bit of a pickle. He gave up a leadoff home run to Justin Turner, cutting the Cubs’ lead to 3-2. Davis then walked Yasiel Puig. He was able to get Andre Ethier to pop up, bringing up Curtis Granderson. Granderson worked the count 2-2, then fouled off a pitch. And then he appeared to swing through a curve that bounced in the dirt. Catcher Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out, but Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, so it was a foul ball.
Wolf conferred with the other umpires. After a brief delay, the strikeout was overturned and Granderson was given new life in the batter’s box. Only… replays showed that Wolf got it right the first time.
Understandably, Maddon was livid. On the broadcast, one could see Maddon gesturing to the umpires to look at the replay on the video board behind the stands in left field. The argument fell on deaf ears and he was ejected. Thankfully for the Cubs, justice prevailed and Davis struck out Granderson on the next pitch.
It’ll be interesting to see if Maddon makes any political comparisons after the game. He likened the slide rule, the impetus behind his Game 1 ejection, to the soda tax.