I won’t say I am surprised Our Marines’ 8 game win streak snapped like a small tree getting hit by a bus. It’s baseball – losing’s a part of the game. But man o man o man this was an ugly way to get that first loss of May out of the way. Ineffective bats and the first blown save by Masuda – in spectacular fashion – made this 5-3 loss to Rakuten a game to put in the Insta-Forget-O-Matic.
Here’s the good stuff: Lotte continues to fill the sacks with pinstriped gentlemen – 18 men on base tonight on 9 hits, 8 walks and a very controversial hit by pitch. Karakawa was, well, not bad – great early on but sooo shaky in the 5th, 6th, and 7th – but only gave up two runs. Saburo got a little offense going with a nice RBI double in the 5th. Hattori and Matsunaga were solid as the first men out of the pen. And Craig and I had a blast cheering with some kids from Kesenuma on a school trip to QVC.
But the bad – oh lord. You are good at math; you can tell that only 3 runs were managed out of those 18 baserunners. It was worse than that! 3 times Lotte juiced the bases, and only one run came from those loaded bags, a bases loaded walk to Daichi in the third. The rest? Left at the altar.
And the worst part? Ever reliable Masuda – perhaps a bit worn from a whole lot of recent outings, perhaps distracted but the ever increasingly gusty wind throughout the 9th inning, perhaps just having an off day – got killed to the tune of 4 hits and a walk and three runs courtesy of a bases-clearing double with two outs in the 9th by Fujita (!!!!). The sad thing is that while Masuda was far from his best, Okada would have easily caught the double off Fujita’s bat had he been playing at a normal depth. But instead he was playing shallow, Fujita lined a two-out, 1-1 pitch right over Okada’s head, and just like that the lovely 8 game streak was kaput.
Hey, this happens. It’s a super young team – nobody but Iguchi in the starting lineup was over 30 (including just-turned-21 Emura behind the plate) so we expect some ups and downs.
I just would have preferred the end of the streak came some different way.
Revenge comes quickly as ace Naruse faces Duckworth on Saturday in an afternoon tilt at QVC. Look for more runs to be scored this time by Our Marines, and for Lotte to start another winning streak!
4 thoughts on “At Least We’re Still in First, Right?”
*** “Increasingly gusty wind” You think? It blew off my bike on the way home.
***I watched the replay of the bench clearing incident in the 7th. An Imae HBP led to Rakuten’s manager Hoshino to argue. Imae did swing on the play, but it appears to me that it he fully went around AFTER getting hit by the ball.
Our 3B coach Shimizu and one of the Eagles coaches began to exchange words. Both benches and bullpens rushed out on to the field. But the real beef was apparently between the coaching staffs. Our 1B coach Satoh had to be forcibly pulled away from the confrontation.
*** Kakunaka limped off the field in the first after running out a ground ball.
Iguchi was replaced by Hosoya during the game too.
Any word on those injuries?
Speaking of Hosoya, he had a couple of nice defensive plays at 1B.
^ Meant to say the wind blew me off my bike.
I haven’t seen anything yet this morning about Iguchi or Kakunaka, but it doesn’t sound like either was serious. It certainly wouldn’t be very good (to say the least) to lose either for any length of time.
Hosoya did look good, kind of Fukuura-like. Nice range and quick reactions. It’d be good if he could warm up at the plate, he’d definitely get some playing time.
Daichi continues to impress at short as well.
Today’s rainout is a blessing in disguise. Get some well-deserved rest for the pitchers and for Kakunaka and Iguchi.
Well, Kakunaka is out – removed from the roster with a muscle pull. That’s not good considering he was basically our extra base machine.
What is interesting is that our 4th round pick from last year – Shohei Kato – was called up to replace him. The draft preview mag I read last year didn’t have him rated highly – it was thought he might be a decent power hitter. But so far this year in ni-gun he’s hit for average well, stolen 9 bases, stroked 6 doubles and a triple, and hit 4 HR. Who knows, could be a diamond in the rough. We know Lotte scouts are good at digging those up (see: Kakunaka, Okada).