Friends, I’d like to tell you that this season ended with another storybook run to a Nippon Series title a la 2010, but it’s not going to be.
Our Marines fought hard through so much this year, but ultimately they – we – lost the last two games to Rakuten in Sendai. That’s 2-0 on Saturday, and after a rainout on Sunday, an 8-5 loss to send Rakuten to the Nippon Series on Monday.
Friends, this was a hard-fought win. I said in yesterday’s writeup that this one was a must win, and win we did. It was classic playoff baseball – Our Marines needed some heroics to overcome the great pitching of Rakuten’s Norimoto and boy did we get it both from the mound and at the plate.
In another fine example of the lack of skill I have at picking games, Rakuten beat Our Marines and Naruse 2-0 in the first game of the CS Final Stage. It’s not the end of the world by any means – a reasonable observer would expect Rakuten to have the edge in this one thanks if nothing else to Tanaka, and sure enough Tanaka was the difference.
Our Marines did it! They quickly forgot Sunday’s Game 2 and put together a complete 4-1 victory!
The pitching – wonderful. Karakawa, Uchi, Rosa, and Masuda kept the game fully under control.
The batting – a huge homer by Daichi (the Lion Killer), Iguchi, and a game-sealing 2-run triple by Kakunaka.
The tickets are booked for SENDAI! We’re in the Climax Series Final Stage!
I know, I know, this game hasn’t even been played yet. Heck, the last one just finished a couple of hours ago. But tomorrow – tomorrow, this is it. If Our Marines can’t get a win, the 2013 season will be over. I just gotta throw a few thoughts out there. The starters are set …
I suppose after all the gloating yesterday we had it coming. We’re going to play a Game 3 in this Climax Series First Stage. I suppose that’s what the fierce Lotte-Seibu rivalry demands.
I ask you, Lotte fans – what do you want in a playoff game? Victory, yes, sure. Lots of offense? Great. Strong pitching? Uh huh. A close game? Well… Sorry, can’t help you with the last one.
If you came to this site looking for balanced, level-headed coverage of Our Marines and their trip through the NPB post season – well friend, you came to the wrong site. I have a standard that I apply to fan blogs, especially my own: If you’re not biased in your coverage, you don’t love your team enough. And this is We LOVE Marines – so clearly we love Our Marines, it says so in the title. Seibu coverage can be found at I Enjoy Lions (Even Though Being A Seibu Fan Is Not As Much Fun As Being A Lotte Fan, But Whatever).com.
The good news is, we are in Climax Series. We’re playing Seibu on Saturday. The bad news is, we could not possibly be slumping more, and Seibu could not possibly hotter. On the last night of their 2013 season, Our Marines got steamrolled by the Lions in Tokorozawa, 10-2. That’s three losses in a row to end the year for Chiba, compared to 8 wins in a row for Saitama.
Marines fans, you can see that sticky up above. Our Marines have made it to the postseason for the first time in three years. If you are new to being a Marines fan, it may be hard to get why this is such a big deal. Here’s why: In the last 39 years since the championship when the team was still the Lotte Orions and played in Sendai, this team has played postseason baseball just 4 times, this the first time since 2010. It’s huge.