The Marines were able to contain a late game awakening by the Giants bats to preserve a win for starting pitcher Yuki Karakawa. With 4 runs coming in the form of a pair of 2-run home runs by Iguchi and Daichi Suzuki, the Marines defeated the Yomiuri Giants 4-3. The Marines and Giants went into the game tied with the best records in the NPB. Now, Lotte has sole possession of that honor. The win also guarantees at least a season split with Giants, as well as maintaining our position of 1/2 game out of the inter-league title and 3 games atop the Pacific League.
Our Marines gave another stunning ensemble pitching performance – for the second night in a row throwing a wet, lead-filled blanket on the Chunichi bats and cruising to a victory. This one featured no come-from-behind heroics, just runs when they were needed and pitching all night long. When the last out was recorded, it was a nice 3-1 Lotte victory and the 4th win in a row. Outstanding.
My favorite baseball memory took place in Nagoya Dome. With 2 outs in a tight game, an emerging young Lotte played lofted a ball deep into the gap in right center, driving in what would turn out to be the winning run. That was game 7 of the 2010 Nippon Series and the hero was of course Okada. 30 months later Daichi Suzuki launched a ball to much the same spot scoring two Men in Black and propelling Our Marines to a great come from behind 3-2 win over the Chunichi Dragons.
The Marines finished the year 2-0 at Yokohama Stadium as they closed the books this afternoon on a 4-1 win over the BayStars. The Eagles and Lions both lost today, growing our lead to three games atop the Pacific League.
Our Marines made the short trip to Yokohama Stadium this beautiful late May Saturday to face DeNA. After the pomp of DeNA slugger Nakamura’s 2000 hit ceremony, Lotte delivered a power-filled performance to beat the Baystars 9-4.
Eight hours and fifty-eight minutes. After last night’s tie, that’s how much baseball was required for a victor to finally emerge in a Marines-Tigers game in 2013. However, the result of this game didn’t take that long to become clear, as the Hanshin Tigers won 7-1.
While down under the infield A seats I heard a huge roar. I’ve spent a lot of time at QVC, I know that roar. That’s the sound of Lotte fans getting damn excited. They had a good reason, too – Iguchi had just belted a solo shot off the first pitch from Tigers starter Enokida to move the score from 6-1 to 6-2. I had to rush back and see what was going on – right when I get back through the tunnel BAM! Imae cracks ANOTHER homer to make it 6-3 Hanshin!
Now we had ourselves a game.
On this damp Monday evening at QVC young righty Yuji Nishino was handed the ball with a tall task: go head-to-head with arguably the best pitcher in Japan – Hiroshima’s Kenta Maeda – and keep Our Marines in the game in the hopes that Itoh’s small ball could scratch out a run or two against the visiting Carp. The Carp are not a dangerous offensive team but no matter – when Maeken is pitching they are always in the game. Nishino did more than his fair share of the lifting tonight, delivering a masterwork of control and power, nearly silencing the Carp attack and boosting Our Marines to a stirring 3-2 victory.
It was a rough three nights in Tokyo for the Marines, but a little home cooking was just what the doctor ordered for an ailing club. Lotte snapped their 3 game skid with a convincing 7-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp. Ohmine pitched a complete game shutout to put Chiba back in the win column. …
Our Marines sent ace Naruse to the hill on Saturday night at Jingu looking to get back into the winning spirit. It didn’t work out that way as Tokyo Yakult blasted their way to a 5-3 victory over Lotte. Grr. It’s actually kind of refreshing to have a garden-variety loss after the back to back …