Lotte returned home on Friday to try to shake the bad taste of Thursday night’s collapse at the hands of Softbank.
The bats came to life in a huge way tonight – 18 runs on 17 hits, a total destruction of all that is decent and good – as Lotte crushed the hopes and dreams of the visiting Lions. Oh damn, I read the box score incorrectly – Seibu dominated the Marines in just about every way possible in an 18-0 immolation of the Marines pitching staff.
I had the pleasure of watching the game on tape as I had a work function to attend. I snuck a peek at the score at the top of the 4th – 0-0, yeah. Pitching on a roll! After I return home I check the score again… Oh, geez.
Taking the loss in this one was the usually reliable Watanabe with 7 earned in 5.2 innings work, though a team doesn’t lose by 18 runs without a concerted group effort. Joining the sad parade of shell-shocked pitchers was Furuya – recently promoted after not seeing time with the Ichi-gun in 3 years – and Komiyama (of the spiffy shades, 6+ ERA, and 43 years). Furuya didn’t make much of a bid to stay with the big team, yielding 5 runs in 2/3 innings work. He got the ball rolling on the Lions’s 8 run 7th inning. Komiyama managed a special feat – he had 10 appearances on the season heading into this game, and still managed to raise his ERA by almost 4 runs in this game. His ERA is now over 10, for the record. Acquitting himself well was Kawasaki, who mopped up the last two innings in scoreless fashion. That’s actually the only good news to take from tonight’s game, as he’s gotten his early-season issues under control and has been in fine shape so far this month.
Let the record also show that Lotte’s offense put up no fight versus Samurai Japan’s Wakui – only squeaking out 4 scattered hits in Wakui’s complete game victory.
As I alluded to above, Komiyama has had an atrocious season so far. He had a really poor season last year as well – 48 hits in 39 innings and a 5.72 ERA. He was at a 6.39 ERA coming into tonight. He left with a 10.13 ERA. He’s 43, and has been a professional since I started university (which believe me, is a while ago). I hate to say it, but at this point he looks about spent for the career…
The nice thing about baseball is there’s so many games that no single game has any huge relevance. Losing by 18 counts the same as losing by 1. Lotte can still win the series and wipe the memory of this game away. And actually, as recent series between these teams has shown, usually a blowout by one team is followed by a shellacking by the other!