First, we have to talk Kiyota and how absolutely on fire he’s been. His four straight modashos set a team record, and overall in the last seven games he was 21-for-33 with 5 doubles and 4 home runs. If he had enough AB’s to qualify, his .371 batting average and 1.034 OPS would lead the PL. As mentioned earlier, he continues to ride a 7 game multi-hit streak, going 4-5 with 2 HR (nearly missing a 3rd HR on a leaping catch at the wall) in the most recent game. Watching him in the batter’s box right now is like watching a predator about to pounce on its prey. His effectiveness as our everyday lead off hitter is also bolstered by his speed on the base paths and strong arm in the field. To put it short: We love Kiyota!Cruz continues to hit well too, he’s currently 2nd in the PL with 37 RBI and tied for 4th with 9 HR. Kakunaka still leads the team with a .393 OBP, and is 10th in the PL with a .305 BA. Imae finds himself 9th in the PL with a .307 batting average. Despaigne has 2 HR in the last 8 games, but is still struggling with a .222 BA. He did come through most recently in Game #40, delivering a late go-ahead 3-run PH double in the 7-6 win over Seibu.
We’ve lamented all year over the starting pitching depth, but recently there have been signs of reliability. The one run losses were mostly the result of starters being kept in a bit past their expiration and untimely bullpen appearances. Wakui (5-4 2.59) and Ishikawa (3-2 2.92) continue to anchor the rotation. Rhee returned to ichi-gun with a win to boost his record to 5-1 4.24. Ohmine gave up just 1 ER in his past 14 innings, bringing his overall record up to 2-1 1.73 in 4 starts and 1 long relief appearance. Until the most recent win over Seibu, Our Marines didn’t have a single save opportunity since we last posted, with a rusty Nishino nearly blowing a 3-run lead but eventually getting his 8th save.
For your viewing pleasure, 21 Kiyota hits: