Series Preview: This is it, folks. There’s only one game left on the schedule and it is HUGE. Our Marines head to Tokorozawa for a death match with Seibu. The stakes? Winner gets second place in the PL, hosting the loser for this weekend’s Climax Series First Stage.
Lotte dropped a pretty meaningless game to Orix last night, but the loss does mean a Seibu win or tie gives them second. We gotta win this one. Back on the hill is Old Lefty Ace Naruse – his first start since June. Satozaki’s back. Kakunaka’s back. With the exception of T OGINO, we’re at full strength.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you want a meaningful end to the 2013 season, this is it. It all ends tonight.
By Steve Novosel The good news is, we are in Climax Series. We're playing Seibu on Saturday. The bad news is, we could not possibly be slumping more, and Seibu could not possibly hotter. On the last night of their 2013 season, Our Marines got steamrolled by the Lions in Tokorozawa, 10-2. That's three losses in a row to end the year for Chiba, compared to 8 wins in a row for Saitama.
I’m not going to give you a whole bunch of details on this one. The pitching was universally bad for Lotte – Naruse, Nishino, Ledezma, and Hattori all gave up runs – and the only two Lotte runs were scored courtesy of Saburo. There’s nothing good to take from this experience.
From a baseball perspective, there’s no problem with going to Seibu as opposed to QVC for us. Of course Seibu gets to bat last in the CS but that’s not hugely important. Our fans will invade the stadium and it will be mostly black as always.
The longer term impact from my perspective is economic. It was estimated the team (and the city) would see about 2-oku yen in revenue per game (~$2M USD) for each game of CS in Chiba – now that’s going to Seibu instead. It would have been nice to have some of that go towards good free agents this off season.
But that’s not the situation we’re in. We need to go to Saitama this weekend and win 2 of 3, that’s all. Nothing else matters right now.