2018 Season: State of the Seagull

The 2018 Chiba Lotte Marines season is in full swing. New skipper Tadahito Iguchi‘s squad looks much different from 2017’s team, who finished with arguably the worst season in the 67 years of franchise history. At this point last season, Itoh’s Marines couldn’t hit, couldn’t pitch, and certainly couldn’t get many W’s but this year? Lotte finished the Interleague series …

Lotte vs Seibu, 14-16 April 2017

The weekend series vs cross-Kanto rivals Seibu represented a chance for Our Marines to get back to .500, as well as a taste of the only Pacific League team we’ve yet to see. Ultimately, what we learned is much the same as what the previous four series taught us – when the pitching is good, Chiba has a good opportunity …

Orix vs Lotte, 11-13 April 2017

The Men From Makuhari headed to Kansai this week for the first series of the year vs the suddenly strong Buffaloes, winners of 5 straight coming in. But after receiving a beating at the hands of second place Orix in game 1, Lotte rallied to take games two and three to win their second series of the year. Game 1 …

Lotte vs Rakuten, 8-9 April 2017

That’s right, folks – our buddy Mr Yuk has made his first (and hopefully last) appearance of 2017, and for games 6 & 7 to boot. Why? For all the progress Our Marines displayed in the last two games of the Fighters series, the offense looked every bit as terrible as it did in the opening series in Fukuoka in …

A Rough Start, But Plenty of Hope

Preseason action for Our Marines could not have gone better, as Chiba out-pitched and out-hit everyone en route to the first open-sen first place finish in 25 years. The pitchers that made the opening day roster ended that preseason action with a combined sub-1.00 ERA, superb even by my rosy predictions. That success didn’t translate immediately to the regular season, …

After a Sneak Peak, A Season Preview

The 2017 Chiba Lotte Marines season is about to get underway – time for us to take a look at how Itoh-kantoku’s guys are shaping up. I can hear your comments already – “Steve, isn’t it cheating to write a season preview after the first week of the season has already been played?”  I must admit – Well, yeah, of course …

And On Into September We Go

The 2016 version of Our Marines aren’t going anywhere – for now, at least. As of this writing Chiba sits 9.5 games behind Hamu in second and 8 up on Rakuten in fourth with just 18 games to go. To my mind, that’s the very definition of “stuck in place”. Fortunately that is a good place to be stuck in. …

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Those Bullpen Blues

Remember when the bullpen was the one constant we could always rely on to step up even when the starting pitching was, er, less than ideal? That’s (generally) still the case, but, my caveat is important. Of the four Lotte losses since the end of interleague, 3 of them are directly the result of middle relief collapses, including 2 this …

Interleague’s Over, Time to Beat Up on Pa-League

Our annual sojourn into the unknown wilderness of the Central League is complete. It’s time to take care of essential business – beating up on the rest of the Pacific League. First up, our eternal rivals from the other side of town, Seibu. Lotte @ Seibu, 24 June Lotte 7, Lions 6 WP: Ayumu Ishikawa  LP: Kona Takahashi Notables: Daichi …

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Lotte Week In Review: Holding Steady, Lots of Positives

First Sekiya Win

Our Marines ended the week an even 3-3, still snugly sitting 2.5 games behind PL leaders Daiei and 1.5 up on 3rd place Hamu. Seibu @ Lotte, 17 May Lotte 5, Seibu 2 WP: Ayumu Ishikawa S: Yuji Nishino LP: Isamu Satoh Notables: Hosoya (KEI!) 2 RBI, Despaigne 2 RBI Seibu @ Lotte, 18 May Lotte 0, Seibu 3 WP: Yusei …