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Did the Hanshin Tigers deserve to play in this year’s Japan Series? The team finished second in the Central League pennant race, seven games behind the league champion Yomiuri Giants, but the Tigers advanced to the CL Climax Series Final Stage with a controversial victory over the Hiroshima Carp in the Climax Series First Stage.

Hanshin then knocked off the Giants in four straight games to earn a Japan Series slot opposite the Pacific League pennant-winning Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

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