It was a rough three nights in Tokyo for the Marines, but a little home cooking was just what the doctor ordered for an ailing club. Lotte snapped their 3 game skid with a convincing 7-0 win over the Hiroshima Carp. Ohmine pitched a complete game shutout to put Chiba back in the win column. Here’s the recap:
I don’t know much about Ohmine’s history, but I’ve been told he’s traveled on a long road since his days as a highly touted high school hurler. The tears in his eyes while giving this evening’s hero interview told the story of a pitcher who has paid his dues to get where he is. And oh boy, did he flourish when his team needed him the most.
Ohmine settled down quite nicely after giving up a double to the first batter of the game. He pitched effectively through 5 innings, scattering 4 hits. With a battle worn bullpen, it was clearly a priority to ride Ohmine out as long as possible. It wouldn’t have been unreasonable to pull him with two runners on and 0 out in the 6th, or two runners on with 1 out in the 7th. But, Itoh’s trust in Ohmine paid off. Even after 113 pitches going into the 8th, he persevered through two more innings of gutsy scoreless pitching. After 9 innings and 139 pitches, Ohmine could call himself the hero, earning a complete game shutout. Ohmine’s final pitching line: 9IP, 0ER, 7H, 7K, 3BB.
The offense deserves its fair share of the credit for putting Chiba in position to win tonight. The M.O. for much of the year has been a bounty of base runners, but a lack of timely hitting to bring them home. Tonight’s 7 runs on 8 hits hopefully points to a reverse in that trend. Runs scored on the following plays:
3rd inning, 3 runs:
Ogino’s RBI triple to left center, set up by an Ishimine infield hit and Nemoto sac bunt.
Iguchi’s 2 run HR to left, knocking in Ogino.
4th inning, 1 run:
Kei Hosoya led off with a single to center. After advancing on an Emura bunt, and Ishimine ground out, he scored on a wild pitch.
5th inning, 2 runs:
Ogino and Iguchi led off with back to back walks. Imae advanced both runners with a deep foul ball fly out to right. Kiyota hit an RBI ground out (mostly thanks to Ogino’s speed) and Daichi Suzuki followed with an RBI single that just floated over second base into center.
7th inning, 1 run:
Imae crushed a solo shot to very deep left center to make it 7-0. Both his and Iguchi’s homeruns were quite impressive, given the constant wind blowing directly off Tokyo Bay into left field all night.
It was quite nice to see our boys bounce back from a deflating three game stretch. A 7-0 win may seem somewhat lacking in drama, but tonight’s game was quite a cathartic experience. I had the pleasure of attending the game with family and friends – Steve, my brother in law Toshihiro, and my sister in law Yuko. The sense of joy was palpable throughout QVC Marine field this evening. Can’t ask for more. One more game with the Carp, and then the Tigers come to town. Carp fans were well represented tonight, and you can always expect the Tigers faithful to show up in droves. I should be in attendance all week. Can’t wait for more baseball tomorrow. Thanks to Steve for the photos…[slickr-flickr search=”sets” set=”72157633533903100″ type=”gallery” thumbnail_size=”small” thumbnail_captions=”on” size=”original”]