Our Marines have dropped four of their last ten since we last checked in at the ten game mark.
Going 1-1-1 vs Daiei over the weekend is a damn sight better than the first series of the season, but it’s hardly ideal. Small steps. Now it’s Orix’s turn to come to frigid QVC, this time for a 2 game set.
Wakui gets the nod in game 1, fresh off his nice work in Omiya last week. It’ll be Furuya and Igawa in game 2.
The preaseason is over, the 2014 NPB regular season kicks off this Friday! Let’s take a look at the players who will be starting the season at ichi-gun for Our Marines. First, the pitchers.
For those who follow Our Marines – cheer them at QVC and on the road, catch the games on TV or in the paper, follow the team from overseas and cheer when you can – does it get any better than a crucial, extra inning 1-0 Sayonara victory off the venerable bat of Chiba’s own Fukuura, scoring fleet-of-foot fan favorite (and my favorite) T OGINO?
As Steve mentioned at the conclusion of the Seibu series post, Our Marines are heading north to Sendai on Friday for a pivotal 3 game set between the top two teams in the PL. Thanks to Lotte’s 12-5 run, combined with a five game losing streak for Rakuten, we sit only 2.5 games back of the first place Eagles heading in. With our 3 most reliable pitchers slated to start this weekend, hopefully we can at least take 2 of 3 and win our 7th series in a row.
For the 5th time in the month of August, Our Marines have won a series, this time vs Orix. That’s every series so far this month, for those of you counting at home. In Game 1, the team won 5-2 behind the start of Karakawa and timely hits from Imae, Kakunaka, and Braz. In Game 3, New Lefty Ace Furuya + a strong pen combined with a pair of timely hits from birthday boy Daichi for a 3-1 win. Overall, Lotte won 2 of 3 and has now moved to within 4.5 games of Rakuten and sits 2.5 games up on third place Softbank.
Less than two months ago, an unexpected start by Takuya Furuya resulted in a no-no near miss. Since then, Furuya has been a fixture in the rotation, easily the best pitcher for Our Marines since the resumption of Pacific League play. Tonight, Furuya pitched another gem vs PL leaders Tohoku Rakuten – 7 innings and 8 strikeouts – and the bullpen took it to the finish for a stirring 3-0 Lotte victory.
On Saturday the bullpen couldn’t back up Karakawa’s six and a third, one run performance. Little by little, the Nippon Ham Fighters picked away at Lotte’s 2-0 lead to win in sayonara fashion. The final score would read Fighters 3 – Marines 2 in 10x inning.
Braz. Braz. Braz. BRAZ. Chiba fans are CRAZY about Braz! Why? After Tuesday’s debut home run (and gyudon celebration), the newest Lotte extended his Lotte career hitting streak to 8 games with another jack, and capped his night off with yet ANOTHER bomb! The power extravaganza helped propel Our Marines to a 7-3 victory over visiting Daiei, and cements Chiba’s second place standing at the end of the first “half” of the season.
It’s been a rough July for Chiba – coming into Tuesday’s game vs Daiei the Boys by the Bay were just 2-8-1 for the month (most of the games on the road). But thanks to some great pitching, timely hitting, and a powerful smash by new addition Craig Brazell, Our Marines pulled out a fun 6-3 victory at QVC.