With Yomiuri on a semi-skid, Hiroshima treading water, Chunichi playing pretty good ball and Hanshin playing really good ball the Central League race has tightened up considerably. All four teams are now within 4.5 games of each other and could probably end up finishing in any order 1-4.
Chunichi has been a little banged up, but are starting to get their players back. Yoshimi has returned and started a couple games, Araki is back and Luna and Hirata should be joining the ichi-gun team within the next couple weeks. In the meantime their replacements have been chipping in and Shuhei Takahashi has joined the big club.
The Dragons will face the Carp in six of their next nine games, important games in what is currently a battle for third and fourth in the standings.
Also, congratulations to Hitoki Iwase who increased his NPB all-time record for saves by picking up save No.400 in Chunichi's victory Saturday over Yomiuri.