Lotte WINS 4-2, Satozaki Retires a Hero Orix: Kazumasa Yoshida (5-5 3.56) @ Lotte: Hideaki Wakui (7-12 4.31) Tonight we honored Tomoya Satozaki and his retirement after 16 seasons as catcher for Our Marines. Sato-chan was with Lotte for two Nippon Series Championships, 2005 & 2010, also winning World Baseball Classic Gold in 2006. Injuries …
If you want to be totally negative, you can say the 2014 Chiba Lotte Marines’ backs are flush against the wall. The margin of error is not slim; it’s non-existent. Our Marines must win every game – 6 of them. Hamu must lose every game – 11 of those. If that happens, if these guys can pull off that miracle, Hamu collapses that badly – Chiba STILL needs help in the form of Rakuten and Seibu losing a game or two.
Yes, it’s the unlikeliest of scenarios, indeed, but until all chance is drained from the season we will cheer and cheer with ALL our zeal for Our Marines to move on.
There’s just nine games left to go, all of which are at home, with the last full three game weekend set starting tonight. It’s still a tight race for the bottom three spots in the PL, with Rakuten and Seibu tied for forth, and Our Marines a half game back. If for some strange reason you’re curious, the puts of nine games back of third. So technically we are not eliminated from the post-season just yet, but the magic number is three.
You might think that with the generally miserable season Our Marines have had that there would be no great news to share. Au contraire, mon frere! There’s all sorts of interesting things going on, many of them quite good!
Last road trip of the year? Yup, last road trip of the year. Hard to believe we’re at that time of year already but indeed it’s true – this series in Sendai makes the last three road games of the 2014 season.
This series sadly also is the final opportunity for Our Marines to win a season series with a PL team. Chiba has 12 losses (exactly) in every head-to-head matchup except with Rakuten, against whom we have 11. Hey, it’s not much, but it would be nice to be better than at least one PL team.
Our Marines might be out of contention, but all kidding aside, it’s been an entertaining September. Take away the three shutout losses and 29 inning scoreless steak – which in it of itself became compelling – and Our Marines are 5-1. Playing spoiler to the Hawks’ first place run this holiday weekend could add some more September gratification.
Ah, the fun time of the year, right? We fans, resigned to our fate as a B Class team, get to enjoy the stress-free pleasures of meaningless September ball. But is it so stress-free when the team can’t seem to put any runs across the plate?
It’ll be interesting to see what surprises us await us in the last month of the season. For starters, let’s see if we can take something positive from this weekend’s home series versus the last place Eagles.
The goals for the remaining games are basically (a) get the younger players some more experience (b) play the spoiler. Wait, I forgot to list the most important goal! (c) BEAT SEIBU. Interestingly enough, we get 7 games in 10 days vs our Tokorozawa – this 3 game set at Seibu Dome and next week a 4 game tilt at QVC – and that’s it for the season. Seibu’s in just about as hopeless a position as is Chiba, so really we should look at this as a 7 game series to determine PL Kanto supremacy once and for all.