Steve’s Note: This is Craig’s first post here. He’s a huge Chiba Lotte fan – more games than me this year, even – and loves to chat about Lotte. He’s made a short introduction in the About section, so please check it out!
An 8-4 win puts us 1/2 game out of first! The first place Seibu Lions are back in town tomorrow for game 2 of a two-game stint.
Reality Check Time: It’s early May, and not late September. Inter-league play is up on the horizon, not post-season play. Still, I’ll take it.
Here’s the recap:
The 22 year old Yuji Nishino took the mound tonight. After 7 1/3 shutout innings a week ago in Osaka, he’s 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA in his first year at the Ichi-gun level. The former ikusei player went into the 7th tonight with a 6-0 lead. Perhaps in an effort to save the over-worked bullpen, he endured a 3-run 7th inning. With a little additional help from the offense, he departed with a 7-3 lead going into the 8th. All things considered, he did a good enough job to earn his 4th win.
Hitting: 4-run Bottom of the 2nd
Speaking of the offense, it was a great night at the plate for the Marines: Lotte plated 8 runs on a whopping 17 hits. A 4-run 2nd inning for Lotte was the difference in tonight’s game. Here’s the summary of the bottom of the 2nd:
With back-to-back 1-out hits to center by speedsters Daichi Suzuki & T.Ogino, the Marines were ready to roll. With said runners on first and second, Emura hit a potential double play ball back to the pitcher. However, the throw to second sailed into center. Daichi scored from second… it was 1-0 Marines, and it was all downhill from there. The look on the Lions manager Watanabe (who took over for current Lotte manager Itoh) says it all (above image).
Okada hit a single to load the bases for lead-off hitter Nemoto. It was bases-loaded, still 1 out. Nemoto’s RBI single to center made it 2-0. Next up, last year’s Pacific League batting champion Kakunaka hit an infield-fly to SS for the second out, but the bases remained loaded. Iguchi’s 2-RBI blooper fell between the between CF and SS to made it 4-0. After that, a Lotte victory never felt in doubt.
…Fast forward to the 8th inning…
Matsunaga pitched a scoreless 8th. Nakagoh played the role of effective-ish middle reliever/failed closer by giving up a run and leaving with the bases loaded (tying run at the plate), and 1 out in the 9th. Last year’s rookie of the year, and this year’s closer, Masuda entered. Masuda cleaned up the mess, and Lotte won by a final score of 8-4.
3 thoughts on “7 Wins-in-a-Row is a Good Thing, Right? – 8 May 2013”
Nishino looked damn good tonight! Only one baserunner in the first 6 innings, 7 Ks. Good stuff. He’s really looking solid this year – such a nice surprise.
I was super stoked to see T Ogino for the first time this year and to see him get two hits. Frankly a win is icing on the cake after that. I DO love to see some T Ogino on the basepaths.
Did you see Imae limping after his single in the 8th? He still managed to score, but did not look good hobbling around the base paths.
He finished the 9th in the field so it can’t have been too bad, I think. Maybe a leg cramp?
I couldn’t find anything in the news this morning about it. We’ll see if he’s in the lineup tonight. He’s been pretty damn hot lately so it’d be a big loss if he’s out for a few games.