Our Marines head back home after a four game interleague road trip that took us to Koshien and Hiroshima. We split two games in each series, yet our 6-2 interleague record still leads NPB. The BayStars make the trip to the other side of Tokyo Bay for this weekend’s series at QVC. DeNA currently resides in the CL basement, with Seibu being the only other team in NPB with a worse record. Speaking of the standings, we start the weekend tied for 3rd in the PL with the Fighters. The Fighters and Marines have identical records, with Lotte leading the season series at 7-2. All-Star voting has commenced, the weather is warming up, and the calendar turns to June. It’s starting to feel a bit like summer, let’s hope Our Marines heat back up as well.
The focus shifts to Hiroshima and the first game with the CL leading (!) Carp this year. Interleague has not been so good to Hiroshima as they dropped the first four road games before picking up a pair of wins over Seibu (yay!) this past weekend. Games with Hiroshima tend to be interesting affairs, both on the field and in the stands as the fans battle for cheer supremacy.
The start of interleague could not be any better for Our Marines. The 4 game sweep of Yakult and Kyojin means Chiba has won 5 in a row. The pitching last series was great, and the bats have kept up the efficient production. Can everyone keep it up as the team hits the road?
Interleague play started well for us and hopefully that continues against the Giants. We’re 2-0 against Tokyo teams and have a chance to make it 4-0 on Friday and Saturday. We’re riding a three game winning streak, and it seems that MAYBE things are starting to come together for Our Marines. Perhaps the everyday lineup is beginning to take shape. With the recent heroics of Ogino and Katoh, we may actually be on a path to achieving the balance of old and new that we hoped for at the beginning of the year. Cautious optimism abound.
I Love Interleague play. I always say this and it’s simply true. There’s some changes I would make to the format – the proposal to split the play into two halves, one earlier and one later in the season – makes sense to me, but as it stands the set of short, two game series against all the CL teams is pretty neat. One of the highlights for me is the 2 series with Yakult as I follow Yakult a bit and have been known to cheer them on at Jingu when Lotte is off or out of town.
Our Marines are 4-9 so far in May, as they head up north for a three game set in Sapporo. The roster changes and constant lineup tinkering have really ratcheted up this month, with the pre-game announcements accounting half the fun of following the team. It’s anyone’s guess which positions players will start this weekend, where they’ll be positioned, and in what spot they’ll bat in the lineup.
I don’t wish to dwell much more on my bitter ranting from the end of the last series, but it’s certainly time for the team to step up and start winning games. The offense disappears for 10 inning stretches and the pitching alternates between brilliant and execrable. The ingredients that made this season such an exciting prospect are still there – they’re just mostly in ni-gun.
Wednesday’s win in Osaka halted a four game losing streak, pulling Our Marines back to a game below .500. Lotte followed a six game win streak that earned them a place in the top half of the PL standings by Lotte going 2-5 in their last seven games. We still occupy the third spot in the Pacific League even after the skid, as we prepare to host Rakuten for a three game weekend set at the Q.
The last series started with a no-hitter and ended in a true heartbreaker. After a nice winning streak for Our Marines, the ship has started to list a bit, with 3 losses in the last 4 games.
So it’s on to Osaka and Orix, and time to face the best pitching team in Japan. Orix has had its issues as well as of late, just getting swept by Hamu.
Our Marines come home after going 5-1 on last week’s road trip. We get back to action Friday night in Chiba, a day after our 6 game win streak was broken in Sendai. Thanks to the recent run though, Our Marines are back in the top half of the for the first time this year.