Our Marines have now faced all five of their Pacific League foes, coming out of the first stretch of the season at 8-5-1. Lotte has three series wins, one series tie, and one series loss in the first go around. That one and only series loss came at the claws of the Seibu Lions just …
A quick perusal of Tuesday’s box scores shows a 4-4 tie in Fukuoka for Our Marines. Boring game? No – FAR from it. In my opinion this was the best game of the year, and I think a good indicator of the true character of this Chiba Lotte squad. Early Innings Daiei starter Wada’s line …
Our Marines took to the road for the first time this past weekend, taking two of three games from the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka. Just like the sakura all around Chiba Prefecture, Our Marines have also blossomed quite beautifully into a first place team over the weekend, sitting atop the PL with a 5-3 record. …
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You’ve probably noticed we haven’t updated in a few days, and I am sure you can guess what that means. On Friday night, Our Marines lost their fight against Daiei in Fukuoka by a 3-1 margin. That’s only 4 runs in 3 games and a sweep for the Evil Empire (PL-version). It’s also the first time Chiba has lost to the Hawks in the Climax Series.
Our Marines have reached the end of the season: Thursday’s 6-1 loss at Fukuoka means that if Chiba is to play on we must win 4 in a row.
But, not so easy. Remember back to 2010 and this team was in a similarly precarious position. Down 3-1, needing to win out to advance, having far from the best starters available for the first two games (Shunsuke and Yuta, actually), the guys took those first two close games before Naruse shut down the Hawks to advance.
In some ways what faces Lotte is a bit simpler – yes, it’s 4 in a row instead of 3 in a row, but the next three starting pitchers are sure to be Ishikawa, Chen, and Wakui. That’s really good! All bats are available. The small visitor section is still mighty in voice, easily louder than the rest of the stadium combined. We can do this!
If only that one ball didn’t take that awkward bounce. If only we could have turned just one LOB into an RBI. If only the outfield fence was just a few centimeters shorter. Unfortunately for Our Marines, it felt like Game 1 of the Climax Series Final Stage alone could have fulfilled a season’s quota of “if only”s.
I have no voice, nothing left in me at all right now. But I must tell you this, fellow traveller in Lotte fandom – Our beloved Marines sent Nippon Hamu to an early bedtime on this Monday with a tense, thrilling 2-1 win in Sapporo. The streak of first round victories in the playoffs is intact, the Golden Year dream lives on. It’s a wonderful day to be a Lotte supporter.
Lotte vs the best pitcher in the Pacific this year? No problemo, we got Fukuura and Gori and Kiyota and Captain Daichi and the amazing glove of Cochito Cruuuuuuuz. Oh, and its October & Lotte wins in October.
Two weeks ago Our Marines looked to be dead in the water. Back-to-back losses with only 3 hits combined left the guys reeling at 6 games under – dropping out of 4th seemed more likely than seizing 3rd. 12 games later and Chiba’s racked up 10 wins and just two losses – by a combined 2 runs – and with two games remaining on the 2015 Regular Season calendar Lotte has booked a ticket to Sapporo and the first stage of the Climax Series.
What a truly an amazing turn of events!