After thing started to look up in the preceding two series, Our Marines made their last trip to Kansai this year and got mauled. 3 runs scored – total. Shutout twice. Not so competitive in the other game. Furuya, injured. And as a capper, Hamu won two of three in Fukuoka so that 6 game deficit is an astounding 8 games with just 27 to go.
Want some good news? Sure it’s thin on the ground here, but our lovely rookie Ishikawa (arguably the best pitcher on the team this year, and undoubtedly the best among the starters) is back and starting game 1. The next three games are against the Fighters, sitting in third. The math is very poor indeed, though, and Chiba really, really, really needs a sweep of this three game set in Tokyo Dome to even begin to think about making a run at A-Class.
Lotte: Ayumu Ishikawa (7-5, 3.27 ERA) @ Hamu: Hiroshi Urano (6-2, 3.93 ERA)
Projected Starters Lotte: Yuki Karakawa (2-8, 5.34 ERA) @ Hamu: Mitsuo Yoshikawa (1-4, 6.10 ERA)
Projected Starters Lotte: – (-, – ERA) @ Hamu: Naoyuki Uwasawa (7-6, 3.38 ERA)