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Comeback Marines Are At It Again!

Timely Daichi! My favorite baseball memory took place in Nagoya Dome. With 2 outs in a tight game, an emerging young Lotte played lofted a ball deep into the gap in right center, driving in what would turn out to be the winning run. That was game 7 of the 2010 Nippon Series and the hero was of course Okada. 30 months later Daichi Suzuki launched a ball to much the same spot scoring two Men in Black and propelling Our Marines to a great come from behind 3-2 win over the Chunichi Dragons. Sometimes history keeps repeating itself, and when it comes to stirring victories like this one, history can keep repeating repeating itself.

Winning the Arms Race
With the exception of a three-batter-in-a-row lull in the second, Lotte pitchers completely befuddled the Chunichi bats tonight. Yuji Nishino got the start, and he and his mates in the bullpen took care to not leave the Dragons even the slightest opportunity to score after that stretch in the second.

Nishino, Fujioka (?!?!), Nakagoh, Hattori, Matsunaga, and Masuda combined to retire 23 of the last 25 batters faced. The only blemishes were a walk to Luna in the 6th and a single by Fujii in the 7th. That is serious domination. Even Masuda looked like give-them-no-hope Masuda of a few weeks ago, only requiring 9 pitches to shut the door in the 9th for his 15th save.

 

Smack Smack Score Score
It’s odd how anomalous the two runs that Chunichi scored were. All of a sudden in the bottom of the second Nishino gave up back-to-back-to-back doubles to right, the last two by Ibata and Fujii scoring a run each. The offense came from nowhere and left as swiftly as it came for the Dragons. But could Lotte score runs of their own?

Cabrera started for Chunichi and looked quite strong for 5 innings (with an exception mentioned below). In the 6th, Imae hit a nice 2-out double, and Kiyota followed up with a timely single to center to score Imae and make it 2-1 Chunichi.

That was it for Cabrera – Tajima came in from the pen and immediately plunked T Ogino. HEY DON’T DO THAT but we’ll take the base runner. Daichi up – and Daichi smacking a 2-2 pitch to right center scoring Kiyota and T Ogino! A 3-2 Lotte come-from-behind lead!

That was it for the Lotte offense but when the pitching was as unyielding as the Lotte pen was, the 3-2 lead is all that was needed.

From Nikkan Sports

From Nikkan Sports

Huh?
The win would go not to Nishino, though but to Fujioka as Nishino was pulled for a pinch runner in the 5th. Let that one soak in for a moment. Given how well Our Marines have played in the last month it’s hard to criticize Itoh-kantoku for anything but I must confess I have absolutely no idea what was up with that.

The scene: T Ogino awesomely leads off the Lotte 5th with a single. Even more awesomely, he swipes second without even the thought of a throw from Tanishige. Two outs later, Nishino is up and draws a walk and Ishimine is in to pinch run for him. If he didn’t injure something strolling to first, I can’t for the life of me imagine why you would let the pitcher hit then pull him for a runner, especially when he was looking strong.

Ishimine pilfered second, and Nemoto rocketed a liner down the 3rd base line – but rather amazingly speared by Luna to end the inning. Of course this all worked out in the end as Our Marines won the game but I am quite curious as to why such a decision would be made.

Hotness

Daichi, of course. Not only did he have the game winning hit but he was super solid in the field all night.

Imae continued his torrid play in the #4 spot. Since being moved to cleanup he is 16-39 with 5 HR and 9 RBI. Yeah.

Fujioka looked fantastic in his two innings of work, his first ichi-gun time in 3 weeks.

Less So

You can’t say enough good words about Emura behind the plate but he needs to work on his discipline at it. 0-4 on the evening.

Nemoto had some super bad luck – 3 straight liners to Luna – but 0-5 isn’t exactly what’s needed in the leadoff spot.

Tomorrow’s game features the third start of the year for Abe against… Yamai? Who is not really a starter these days but there you are. He is tomorrow.

Comments 5

  1. Were you in Nagoya Dome for the win? I was in America at the time, I remember being at a restaurant when I found out they won the championship. Not really the place to start cheering. :/ Being in Japan for it must have been amazing!!

    omg, just got back from this game a little while ago. Wasn’t feeling too hot in the first place and way over did the ouenka (surprised the hardcore fans around me haha) and ended up stumbling home. At least I just looked drunk, even if I didn’t drink anything. lol

    But man, what a finish!! I was a little worried after Chuunichi scored, but no need!! I’m not good at analyzing, but I was excited about pretty much everyone except poor Nemoto. Daichi was great, makes me feel guilty I can’t figure out his ouenka. ^^;; But you’ll be happy to know T-Ogino’s was one of the first I learned back in the day. πŸ™‚

    So excited for tomorrow’s game! Gotta hit the hay soon though, don’t need to be in such rough shape from the start again. lol

    1. I bet you had a great time tonight!!

      I was at all 7 Nippon Series games! You can see me in some of the wide angle pics of the outfield during the championship ceremony, sort of. I shot this crappy video from the outfield after game 7:

      I am of the opinions that it’s basically impossible to overdo ouenka. I frequently can’t speak well the next day after dramatic games πŸ˜‰

      Daichi’s song is a bit odd I think. You know I have all of the songs on my “songs” page, right?

  2. That’s really freaking cool. My first game was that season and I had no idea how far they’d make it. (We lost like 1-10 to Orix…) Maybe Daichi was just foreshadowing what’s to come?!

    Yep! You’re blog is how I learned what the heck ouenka is! I carry a lyrics sheet with me, and I know most key guys and the teams songs. I just can’t get Daichi’s or Nemoto’s down. I never could get Satozaki’s either. :/ But I belt out Fukuura’s pretty much every time I get too drunk. lol
    And by overdo I mean… I almost passed out mid-game. Feeling sick plus low blood pressure does that to me. But we only get two games here a year, it’s impossible to hold back. >.<

  3. I watched on TV last night.
    It was really exciting game!
    Gori did well!He is the marines new cleanup hitter!Daichi’s defense was awesome too.
    And I thought Emura’s lead is so nice in these days.
    I’m looking forward to your report !
    I wish they will make a game tonight!;)

    1. Gori’s been great since he’s the new cleanup hitter. I think he likes the responsibility!

      And the pitching has been so much better since Emura has become the starting catcher.

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