Lotte came into tonight’s tilt with Seibu looking to continue the recent good pitching, and more importantly, their second road win of 2009.
Well done on the first, not so great on the second.
Taking the hill tonight was Karakawa Yuki, who has shown signs of excellence in his second year. Facing Karakawa was Lions (and Samurai Japan) young star Wakui. The Lions scored first in the bottom of the 4th on a single by GG Sato with men on 1st and 2nd. Karakawa was able to dodge any further damage by inducing a double play on the next batter, Ishii.
Satozaki tied the game in the 5th on a deep smash off Wakui, but that’s all the Marines would manage to score in this one. Wakui shut down the Lotte bats on a 4-hit, 12-K complete game masterpiece. The Lions took the lead again in the 6th on a smash by el jefe Nakamura, and added to the lead in the 8th with another HR by center fielder Bocachica to take the first game in the series 3-1.
There’s certainly some positives to take out of this loss, as this makes the third straight good pitching performance by the Lotte staff. Unfortunately 2 out of the 3 were against extremely strong opposing pitching. While Karakawa sits at 1-2 on the season after this loss, his ERA is only 2.57 with a 4.5/1 K/BB ratio. You gotta figure that he’ll eventually get some run support this season, so his record (and Lotte’s) is sure to improve.
Looking forward to the first road trip for the blog tomorrow!