‘334’ is the number of nightmares. Will Coach Hanshin, who was defeated by Lee Seung-yeop, let go of his resentment for winning the Japan Series for the first time in 38 years?

 The 2023 Japanese Series between the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffaloes, known as the ‘Kansai Series’, begins.굿모닝토토

Hanshin and Orix will play the first game of the Japan Series at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on the 28th. It is a real battle between the winning teams of the two major leagues.

Orix is ​​advancing to the Japanese Series for the third consecutive year. He took second place in 2021 and won the championship in 2022. Hanshin advanced to the Japan Series for the first time in 9 years since 2014, when Oh Seung-hwan (Samsung) played as the closing pitcher. 

Hanshin’s only Japanese Series victory was in 1985. Since then, he has been runner-up three times (2003, 2005, and 2014). They are attempting to win the Japan Series for the first time in 38 years. 

Hanshin coach Akinobu Okada served as Hanshin captain when it won the championship in 1985. And as a coach, he led Hanshin to the Japan Series in 2005, but lost 4 games to Chiba Lotte and his challenge for the championship was aborted.

In his first Japan Series, Coach Okada was beaten by Lee Seung-yeop, who was playing for Chiba Lotte at the time. 

At that time, Seung-Yeop Lee contributed to Chiba Lotte’s victory by hitting three home runs in the series. He hit a solo home run in Game 1, a two-run homer in Game 2, and a two-run homer in Game 4. Chiba Lotte hit 9 home runs, with Lee Seung-yeop alone recording 3 hits. Six other batters recorded one hit each. 

Chiba Lotte won the first game 10-1, the second game 10-0, the third game 10-1, and the fourth game 3-2. It was a crushing defeat for Hanshin. The total score of both teams in 4 games was 33 to 4. The catchphrase ‘334’, a sarcastic reference to Hanshin, is still used to this day. For directors Hanshin and Okada, this is a nightmare number they don’t want to remember. 

Coach Okada was eliminated by Chunichi in the first stage of the 2007 Climax Series with two losses. In 2008, they met Junichi in the first stage and lost in the first game, ultimately being eliminated with 1 win and 2 losses. 

Coach Okada served as Hanshin coach from 2004 to 2008 and resigned due to poor performance. Afterwards, he served as Orix’s manager from 2010 to 2012. He served as a baseball commentator and critic before being appointed as Hanshin manager again last year. Coach Okada personally challenges to win the Japan Series once again for the first time in 18 years since 2005. 

Hanshin’s team ERA this season is 2.61, the lowest in the two major leagues. Pitching ability is an advantage. 

Orix coach Satoshi Nakashima said of Hanshin, “They are a really strong team. “I think this is a team with very high pitching ability,” he said. “Our pitching staff is behind. “I don’t think we will hit much in terms of hitting, so we definitely need to suppress the opponent’s scoring,” he said. 

Meanwhile, in the first game to be held on the 28th, Orix will have Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who achieved the feat of winning four championships for three consecutive years, and Hanshin will have Shoki Murakami as the starting pitcher. Yamamoto recorded 16 wins, 6 losses, and an average ERA of 1.21 in 23 games. Murakami recorded 10 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 1.75 in 22 games. 

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