Yomiuri Giants Clinch Last NPB Playoff Spot

With the Giants 9-4 win over the Hanshin Tigers they have clinched the last playoff spot in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. They will play the Yakult Swallows in a best two out three format. The Central League will have the Nippon Ham Fighthers play the Softbank Hawks.

The winner of the Central Division (Hiroshima Carp) and Pacific Division (Seibu Lions) will play the winners of the wild card games in a best of seven series with the Carp and Lions getting a 1-0 advantage before the series begins (making it a six game series).

Kazuma Okamoto hit two homeruns, a solo shot in the seventh that broke a 4-4 tie and a two run blast in the eighth to give the Giants the win. The 22 year old is in his fourth season, but his first three seasons he accumulated only 69 at bats. This has been a break out season for Okamota with 33 homeruns and 100 RBIs.

Okamoto was a first round pick of the Giants in 2014 and became the youngest player in Japanese history to hit .300 with 30 plus homeruns and 100 RBIs. The youngest prior to that was Yakult Swallows superstar Tetsuto Yamada, who accomplished the feat in 2015 at 23 years of age. Tetsuto also stole more than 30 bases that year, the first of his three 30/30 seasons. Okamoto is not a base stealer.

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