I know I’ve written off the team on two separate occasions in just the last three weeks. We’re fans, that what we do. We’re still mathematically alive though, and this coming two week stretch is likely going to be the true determining period for Our Marines. The next two weeks features a home-and-home with the 2nd place Buffaloes, a home set with the 1st place Hawks in between, and then we end the month with a 3-game Tokyo Dome series versus the 3rd place Fighters.
Another boost for Our Marines came off the field with free agent signing Alfredo Despaigne earlier in the week. We’re four games out of the post-season heading into this weekend. Maybe the slugger from Cuba is just the man we need to help us catch the 3rd place Fighters, but first we must get past the 4th place Lions. That brings us to this weekend’s rival series with the Lions at the Seibu Dome. The Lions jumped a half game in front of us on Wednesday, but this weekend we have the chance to leap frog them back into 4th place before Despaigne’s debut. We’re not going anywhere though without some more reliable pitching, perhaps the potential returns of Wakui and/or Naruse this weekend can provide that. Fingers crossed.
The All-Star break is over, the second half of the season starts this week. The break actually could not have come at a worse time for Our Marines, as they won the first series in months vs Daiei at QVC behind some great pitching and a superb attack. Fortunately the next opponent is… Daiei, and the pitchers are largely the same.
Despite the series loss, there’s a lot positive to take away from the Rakuten series. The team has put up 3 or more runs for 7 straight games including the pair of 7 run showings in the first two games. Katoh has been crazy good at the plate ever since being called back up, and some of the pitching was quite solid.
As much as I enjoy interleague play, the passion just ain’t there for most of the series. After all, how much can you really hate a team that you see only a few times a year, and early in the season at that? Sure, there’s the Giants, but…
So our last 9 games? LWLWLWLWL. Yep, that’s alternating wins and losses. This of course gets us to where we are now. 11-11 in interleague with two makeup games left. Hopefully we can finish interleague the way we started it with a sweep of the Swallows.
Well, this should have been interleague series number eight. Friday and Saturday’s games got rained out though, so we’ll be making our annual trip to Jingu at the end of the interleague calendar. Unlike the Swallows, the other Tokyo club happens to have a roof over their stadium. That means Our Marines will definitely be playing baseball for the first time in four days Sunday afternoon against Yomiuri.
Even after last week’s 2-4 campaign, we are still in a tie for 2nd in the interleague top record race, only a half game behind the Chunichi Dragons. Tuesday & Wednesday’s opponent just happens to be those very Dragons. The end of this series marks the halfway point of the interleague portion of the season. We’ll have played each CL team twice. Let’s try and end this first leg with a couple of wins and get back in the first place spot.
We just took a look yesterday at the pitchers for the 2014 version of Our Marines. The pitching situation is pretty straightforward with a lot of depth both in the rotation and in the pen. The situation for position players is a bit different, though, with lots more variables to consider.