As the site is just barely up and running, I figured I would wait to fix some odds-and-ends around here and blog this series a little later. John and I actually had tickets to the first game of this series, but he was unable to attend. While I gave thought to coming over to catch the final 4 innings or so, it seems like a good thing for my mental health that I didn’t.
In Tuesday’s game young Karakawa got the start and went a strong 6 1/3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, striking out 5 and walking only one. I saw him pitch in person a few games last year and he really seemed so poised for such a young player. It’s really nice to see him off to a good start for the first game of his season.
Unfortunately for him and all who cheer for Lotte, the bullpen had a rough go at it with Itoh and Matsumoto giving up 7 more runs to turn a tight 1-1 affair after 6 into a 9-1 loss for our guys.
We hoped for a rebound in Wednesday’s game with our other wunderkind pitcher Ohmine getting taking the mound. He fought really hard but gave up 7 in 5 innings. Hopefully the 95 pitches he was able to throw and the confidence shown in him by the coaching staff to keep battling will help accellerate the development of a great talent. Remember, he’s only had 36+ innings work in the 2 years since being drafted #1 by Lotte.
The offense was game in this one as well, as the score see-sawed back between the two teams, with the Fighters scoring runs and the Marines coming right back. Unfortunately, after the last Fighters run the Marines couldn’t answer, and they lost the second game of the series.
I’m really quite sad I couldn’t make at least one of these games. I was out in the left bleachers for a Marines 6-3 victory in the Fighters’ annual return to their old home. I had a great time then – took a coworker who had never been to a game before, and he loved it – and was looking forward to having a great time again this year. Well, next year.