It's been a rough month for the Dragons. Chunichi is currently 7-18 in August with only two more games to play. What was shaping up to be a five team race for the Central League playoffs has turned to an undramatic three team race with Yomiuri, Hanshin and Hiroshima separating themselves from Chunichi and Yokohama over the course of the month. Chunichi's uncharacteristic lack of pitching depth has come back to haunt them as they've given up six runs or more in 11 of their losses this month. That's not going to get it done and so they are left to hope for next year.
Chunichi's talent level isn't that far (if at all) behind teams like Hanshin and Hiroshima so there is hope for next year. The Dragons didn't get a ton out of their foreign players this year except for Hector Luna, while the Tigers and Carp have gotten quite a bit, so there is room to improve there. Chunichi's young pitchers may do better next year with more seasoning and with better health and a little luck they could be back in the playoffs. Unfortunately though 2014 will not be their year. Fortunately though for me, as this has been a backwards, flip-flopped year, while my favorite NPB teams Chunichi and Rakuten are near or at the bottom, my two favorite MLB teams the Mariners and Royals are now contenders after years of mediocre play. I guess a guy can't have it all.