Looks like we’ve made it out of interleague alive. We finished with a 12-12 record versus the Central League, alternating wins and loss in our last 11 games. Overall, June as been a little less kind to us, with Our Marines going 6-9 so far in the month. At 31-35-1, we sit two games back of Nippon Ham for the 3rd spot in the PL. We return to the PL schedule this weekend with the first place Orix Buffaloes coming to Chiba. Orix leads SoftBank by .5 games, and is 10 games up on us.
So our last 9 games? LWLWLWLWL. Yep, that’s alternating wins and losses. This of course gets us to where we are now. 11-11 in interleague with two makeup games left. Hopefully we can finish interleague the way we started it with a sweep of the Swallows.
The batting order seems to have been optimized – after weeks of frustration at the plate, Our Marines have put up 8, 7, 8, 5, 6, and 6 runs up in the past 3 series. Now the pitching needs some optimization as well, as despite those high scoring outputs Chiba is just 3-3 in those six games.
This series in Yokohama is tough to predict. One might think a warming up Chiba offense could give Yokohama arms fits, but it didn’t play out that way two weeks ago at QVC. The starting pitching is full of intrigue as Yuta Ohmine makes a surprise start in Game 2, with New New Lefty Ace Fujioka in Game 2.
A series split with Hanshin isn’t exactly convincing me to put more stock into the 2014 Marines. Putting it perspective though, it was nice to actually see Our Marines show some signs of life after the beating we took in the previous series at Yomiuri. We’re an even 8-8 in our interleague campaign, and can probably write off any dreams of catching the 12-6 CL leading Giants, or 12-6 PL leading Buffaloes. Meanwhile, the picture in the PL standings shows us four games under .500 and in fourth place.
This month has been a disaster so far in Lotteland. The pitching has been pretty suspect at times, and when the pitching is not suspect the bats have mostly remained silent. Chiba has lost 7 of the last 9, it is time for the talent we all know is here to start showing what they can do. No need for dominance, competence will do just fine.
Well, this should have been interleague series number eight. Friday and Saturday’s games got rained out though, so we’ll be making our annual trip to Jingu at the end of the interleague calendar. Unlike the Swallows, the other Tokyo club happens to have a roof over their stadium. That means Our Marines will definitely be playing baseball for the first time in four days Sunday afternoon against Yomiuri.
Even after last week’s 2-4 campaign, we are still in a tie for 2nd in the interleague top record race, only a half game behind the Chunichi Dragons. Tuesday & Wednesday’s opponent just happens to be those very Dragons. The end of this series marks the halfway point of the interleague portion of the season. We’ll have played each CL team twice. Let’s try and end this first leg with a couple of wins and get back in the first place spot.