Opening Series Recap @ SoftBank

Photo from Steve, cheering Rhee from the Lotte ouendan.

Photo from Steve, cheering Rhee from the Lotte ouendan.

Game 1 – Lotte WINS 3-1

W: Hideaki Wakui L: Tadashi Settsu S: Yuji Nishino
Full report HERE

Game 2 – Lotte Loses 4-2

W: Jason Standridge L: Chen Kuan-Yu S: Dennis Sarfate

Game 3 – Lotte WINS 5-4

W: Rhee Dae-Eun L: Kenichi Nakata S: Yuji Nishino

Our Marines took the first series of the year two-games-to-one over the Hawks in Fukuoka. That’s wins for Wakui and Rhee, with Chen taking the tough luck loss in game 2. All three of these guys weren’t even on the team two years ago, with Chen and Rhee coming over as free agents this year. Not bad way to start the season in the defending champ’s building.

Steve did an excellent write up from game 1 you can READ HERE. Game 2 was not so great, memorable mostly for a blown call at first base that eventually led to two SoftBank runs. Those two runs ended up being the difference in the game, with SoftBank winning 4-2.

Lotte took the rubber match with a comeback 5-4 win on Sunday. Rhee was the hero striking out 9 in 6 1/3 IP versus the formidable SoftBank lineup. Our Marines came back from an early 3-0 hole starting with RBI singles by Cruz and Nemoto in the 5th. Lotte completed the comeback in the following inning with an infield RBI single for Kakunaka, RBI double for Iguchi (Imae thrown out at home), and RBI single by Cruz. Ohtani, who inherited a 1-out runner at 2nd, teamed up with Masuda for 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, followed by Nishino who inked his 2nd save in the ninth.

Nemoto is the only Marine batting over .300 thus far. His 3-for-3 day in game 3 puts him at an even .400 for the season. Iguchi has the team’s only HR in three games.

Play of the Series:

First, I have to give it up to our middle infield. The double play combination of Cruz and Daichi are already in mid-season form, making even difficult “get twos” look routine this weekend time and time again. The Lotte defense turned 7 DP’s on the weekend. The play of the series goes to Okada though, and his leaping catch Friday night in the 9th.

How To Start a Season Properly

Shamelessly stolen from Twitter

Lotte Fans – the season has just begun for Our Marines, and am overjoyed to report so far it is a SMASHING success!

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Despaigne: “Japan Polished Me as a Player”

despaigne

As difficult as the 2014 Chiba Lotte campaign was in so many ways, the play of several newcomers to the team really provided a boost to the spirits. Arguably the most exciting of those newcomers was Cuban legend Alfredo Despaigne, who in just 2 short months in a Marines uniform provided a year’s worth of highlights with his immense power and ability to get on base. The great news is Despa is back at QVC for 2015 and 2016 thanks to great work by the front office, though he is still playing for his Cuban team Granma in the Cuban Serie Nacional and will not join Our Marines until late April.

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We’re Playing BASEBALL Now!

The very cool poster for 2015's open sen games

Here in NPB we’ve already finished our Spring Camps, and we’re over halfway through the open-sen (preseason) campaign. The “tons of changes” that were promised after last year’s highly disappointing finish didn’t really materialize this offseason, with the only really headline-grabbing change being the (as expected) departure of long-time ace Yoshihisa Naruse for the yogurt peddlers at Jingu.

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Introducing Your 2014 Chiba Lotte Draft Picks

draft-logo

My three favorite days of the NPB calendar are: 1) Spring Camp Opening Day 2) Regular Season Opening Day 3) Draft Day Happy Draft Day everyone!

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