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Notes – 40 Game Mark (Games 33-40)

The legend of Ikuhiro.

The legend of Ikuhiro.

About halfway through this last stretch of games, I thought I’d be writing much more positively about our fortunes at the forty game mark. Our Marines had just won three straight games on a combined total score of 27-5. Ohmine and Furuya gave us wins, proving up to the task of providing some sense of stability in the back end of the rotation. Kiyota had just recorded four straight modashos – as part of an ongoing streak of multiple hits in seven straight games. Unfortunately, Our Marines followed that three game winning streak versus Seibu & SoftBank with a string of three straight kick-to-the-groin one-run losses to Rakuten & Seibu. Although we followed that with a one-run win of our own over Seibu, we still come into the forty game mark at 4-4 since we last checked in, and 18-22 on the season.

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!

May 13 – Birthday boy Tamura got the scoring started with an RBI single in a 5 run 5th, leading to a 6-2 win over SoftBank.  Photo from marines.co.jp

May 13 – Birthday boy Tamura got the scoring started with an RBI single in a 5 run 5th, leading to a 6-2 win over SoftBank. Photo from marines.co.jp

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:

Comments 4

  1. For the record, Kiyota missed the NPB modasho streak by one hit/one day. It’s held by Iguchi when he was with Daiei.

    The NPB record for consecutive multi-hit games is 10 (by Ogasawara) – let’s hope he can keep it up through the weekend.

  2. And suddenly, Despa heats right up. 5-for-5 with 2 home runs and a double, now he’s got an OPS of .856 and is 11th in HRs despite missing half the season.

    Not to be outdone, Cruz hit two as well. He’s now second in Japan with 11 HRs, leads both leagues in RBIs, and is of course still a total bad ass with the leather.

    Kiyota? Oh, his multi-hit streak ended last night – poor guy only managed a double – but they pitched around him soo-o-o-o much. He had a chance for another hit in the 9th and was intentionally walked, along with another walk earlier in the game + a HBP. I’d say getting on base 4x is a pretty good job by the lead-off batter.

  3. hey Guys, this site is great, thanks for all that you do to keep it running, go Marines ! need pitching …?

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