July hasn’t always been the kindest month to Our Marines. The summer collapse has become somewhat of a tradition around here. Maybe it’s due to some unique home field advantage we get from the brutal early-season Marine Field conditions, but it always seems that our PL opponents hit their strides and overtake us the weather …
Lotte vs the best pitcher in the Pacific this year? No problemo, we got Fukuura and Gori and Kiyota and Captain Daichi and the amazing glove of Cochito Cruuuuuuuz. Oh, and its October & Lotte wins in October.
Our Marines finished the 2015 interleague season with a winning record of 10-8, pulling themselves back up to the .500 in the process totaling 31 wins and 31 losses on the season.
If you want to be totally negative, you can say the 2014 Chiba Lotte Marines’ backs are flush against the wall. The margin of error is not slim; it’s non-existent. Our Marines must win every game – 6 of them. Hamu must lose every game – 11 of those. If that happens, if these guys can pull off that miracle, Hamu collapses that badly – Chiba STILL needs help in the form of Rakuten and Seibu losing a game or two.
Yes, it’s the unlikeliest of scenarios, indeed, but until all chance is drained from the season we will cheer and cheer with ALL our zeal for Our Marines to move on.
Ah, the fun time of the year, right? We fans, resigned to our fate as a B Class team, get to enjoy the stress-free pleasures of meaningless September ball. But is it so stress-free when the team can’t seem to put any runs across the plate?
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.
This series could be an interesting one as our intriguing young pitchers go all three games – Ishikawa in game 1, Karakawa in game 2, and presumably Yuta Ohmine in game 3. Let’s see if they can repeat their recent solid performances and more importantly, if the entire team can come together and bring in some Ws.
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?
It’s the last trip to Sapporo this year for sure as Hamu is basically out of contention in the PL after a 6-13 month that has left them reeling. Meanwhile Chiba’s got a chip on their shoulder after dropping the close last game and squandering the chance to build a big cushion in the race for second. The lead is just one game with 12 to go – this is playoff ball, and we need another series win.
Series Preview: After dropping two of three at home and further back of first place Rakuten, it appears Our Marines will be playing for second place down the stretch. Lotte leads SoftBank by two games for the second slot (and home position in Climax Stage 1) with 19 games to go, three of which are next weekend at home against those very Hawks. Meanwhile, the Lions are clawing and the Fighters are, well…fighting to get back in the race for the top three spots, 3.5 and 4.5 games back of SoftBank respectively. Excluding a make up game in late September, this series is our last scheduled trip to Saitama in 2013. Hopefully, we can knock the Lions further out of contention as a parting gift.