Interleague Game 13: History Repeating

From Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Lotte starter {insert name} pitched quite well this evening versus {insert Central League team} – well enough to win most nights. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t give him much support, and Lotte succumbed to {insert Central League team} again, {final score}.

For example: Lotte starter Ono pitched quite well this evening versus Chunichi – well enough to win most nights. Unfortunately, the offense didn’t give him much support, and Lotte succumbed to Chunichi again, 2-1.

Yes, I think i’ll autotext that – as long as it’s pertinent (which hopefully is until, oh, tomorrow afternoon at the latest).

Chunichi starter Yoshimi got basically the same results as his last start against Lotte, 7 IP, 9 hits, 6 Ks and only 1 ER (on May 22, he had a 7 IP, 7 hit, 8K, 1 ER in a 4-1 Chunichi victory). Lotte looked like they might break out of their offensive slumber early on as leadoff batter Hayasaka singled, #2 batter Fukuura singled as well, but Saburo, Iguchi, and Ohmatsu went down in order to end the scoring chance.

Lotte didn’t get anything else going until the 6th, when Saburo hit a one-out double. Iguchi singled him home, and Ohmatsu hit a double, but Benny and Satozaki couldn’t bring another run in.

The Dragons came right back in the bottom of the 6th on first baseman Blanco’s 2-run HR. That’s all the support Yoshimi, reliever Asao, and closer Iwase would need as the Marines attack was held to just a single baserunner in the last 3 innings.

The good news is it was a clean sweep for the Central League tonight as all games (except the rained-out Yokohama-Seibu tilt) were won by the home Central League teams, so Lotte didn’t lose any ground. The bad news is, of course, the completely anemic run production since the start of Interleague play continued. Throwing out the high and low games (6 runs in the victory over Tokyo, 0 runs in the first tie to Yomiuri,) the Lotte offense has scored 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, and 1 runs in the other 11 games – an atrocious 1.63 runs/game. Over the same stretch the pitching has been quite solid but obviously, you gotta score runs to win.

So, Saturday brings the final game versus Chunichi in Nagoya. Lotte will try to salvage a season split as I believe Karakawa takes the hill. Let’s hope he can get some solid run support!

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