Hamu @ Lotte, 29-31 July 2014

QVC Lucky 7

Series Preview:

Break open your ledger and put Rival Series Part 1 in the books with an emphatic WIN for Our Marines. After weeks of futility, that’s 2 series wins in the last 3, and of course the one that Chiba lost could easily have swung the other way. I must say, cautiously, that things are looking up.

What’s changed? Huff-n-Hustle’s hot hitting, yes, yes, but also the pitching has settled way, way down. The cliche is that pitching is 90% of baseball and while that’s certainly not the case, it is certainly the case that the fortunes of this 2014 squad are closely linked to the stability of the pitching staff. That might change a bit in this series as new Cuban slugger Alfredo Despaigne is fitted into a lovely Lotte uniform and is ready to destroy some concrete in the back wall of the outfield. Expectations could not be higher for his performance, and hopefully that power bat in the lineup can give the offense a boost for the times that the pitching needs some extra support.

 

Game 1 – QVC, July 29, 18:15

Hamu: Masaru Nakamura (4-0, 3.23 ERA) @ Lotte: Ayumu Ishikawa (6-5 3.06 ERA)

By: Steve Novosel An entertaining game? Sure, I suppose. But it's a bitter loss to swallow as our hot rookie starter Ishikawa threw probably his best start of his career before being left in too long and getting hit. The offense blew so many big chances - despite scratching back to even in the late innings, the bats couldn't come through with the sayonara win. Tough.
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Even though Ishikawa had some rough spots early – a pair of hits allowed in both the second and third innings – Goemon fought through to really get in his groove in the middle innings. Nishikawa recorded a two out double in the third inning, but Ishikawa struck out the next 4 batters and rang up 13 outs in a row, 7 of those by K. The last out of the 7th inning – an easy fly to right by Kondoh – left him at 93 pitches, ready to come out for the pen to finish it up. For some reason, that just didn’t happen, and the game completely fell apart.

More to come!

Game 1 digest from Pacific League TV



 

Game 2 – QVC, July 30, 18:15

Hamu: Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-5, 3.30 ERA) @ Lotte: Takuya Furuya (7-2, 3.79 ERA)

 

Game 3 – QVC, July 31, 18:15

Hamu: (-, — ERA) @ Lotte: Yuki Karakawa (1-6, 6.59 ERA)

Lotte @ Seibu, 25-27 July 2014

Sayonara Itoh, from baseball-pr.com

Another boost for Our Marines came off the field with free agent signing Alfredo Despaigne earlier in the week. We’re four games out of the post-season heading into this weekend. Maybe the slugger from Cuba is just the man we need to help us catch the 3rd place Fighters, but first we must get past the 4th place Lions. That brings us to this weekend’s rival series with the Lions at the Seibu Dome. The Lions jumped a half game in front of us on Wednesday, but this weekend we have the chance to leap frog them back into 4th place before Despaigne’s debut. We’re not going anywhere though without some more reliable pitching, perhaps the potential returns of Wakui and/or Naruse this weekend can provide that. Fingers crossed.

Continue Reading Lotte @ Seibu, 25-27 July 2014

Lotte @ Hawks, 21-23 July 2014

Yafu Dome

The All-Star break is over, the second half of the season starts this week. The break actually could not have come at a worse time for Our Marines, as they won the first series in months vs Daiei at QVC behind some great pitching and a superb attack. Fortunately the next opponent is… Daiei, and the pitchers are largely the same.

Continue Reading Lotte @ Hawks, 21-23 July 2014

Hawks @ Lotte, 14-16 July 2014

The real hero

Despite the series loss, there’s a lot positive to take away from the Rakuten series. The team has put up 3 or more runs for 7 straight games including the pair of 7 run showings in the first two games. Katoh has been crazy good at the plate ever since being called back up, and some of the pitching was quite solid.

Continue Reading Hawks @ Lotte, 14-16 July 2014

Lotte @ Rakuten, 11-13 July 2014

1149_Interior_Kleenex_Stadium_Miyagi

The summer collapse has become somewhat of a new tradition in Chiba. We’ve seen it now for a third straight season, just the 2014 version came much earlier and from a lower starting position in the standings. Unlike last year where we stayed afloat long enough to reach the post-season though, the top half of the Pacific League has has moved on without us in early July.

Continue Reading Lotte @ Rakuten, 11-13 July 2014