We fans should never complain when our team goes into the final game of a series with a chance for a sweep, especially versus a solid team like Orix. So even though the result in that final game feels disappointing, like an opportunity missed, we’ll be happy with taking 2 of three.
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.
To be honest, this game was pretty depressing. Our Marines had some huge early opportunities to put a major hurt on Seibu starter Togame but generally failed to convert, while Lions bats had little resistance in beating up Fujioka. It adds up to a 4-2 Seibu win.
Did I say we were 5-8, and the last series was a “must win”? Oh, I did, and we didn’t, and that 5-6 is now 5-8. Daiei, once 3.5 back, took the lead for second place before dropping back on percentage points on Thursday. Rakuten and first place are just a mirage in the distance – we’ve got 15 games of hard battle to fight to wrap up second. The first three are this weekend.
The last series of the nine game homestand got started on Tuesday as Our Marines faced off against the hated Lions of Seibu, with Greisinger on the hill vs former ace Wakui. On this night, Greisinger was the one to look like a former Sawamura award winner and Wakui, well, didn’t, as Chiba shut out Seibu for a 4-0 victory.
Our Marines hosted the Orix Buffaloes for a two game stint. Let’s start with the good news. Chiba jumped out to 3-0 leads in both games. The bad news? We blew both leads and would win neither game. Orix and Lotte played to a draw on Tuesday night, finishing tied 3-3. On Wednesday, the Buffaloes won 4-3.
Tonight at the Seibu Dome, Lotte bats launched a 7-hit barrage against Seibu starter Yusei Kikuchi – 2 doubles, 5 singles, and throwing in 5 walks for good measure. Seth Greisinger took the mound for Our Marines, looking at times super sharp, holding Seibu to hits in only two innings and going 17 batters in a row without giving up a hit at one point. I don’t even have to tell you how this one ended up, do I? Seibu 7, Lotte 2. Egads.
Tonight at the Kyocera Dome, Lotte bats launched a 10-hit barrage against Orix starter Chihiro Kaneko – 2 doubles, a triple, and throwing in 2 walks for good measure. The Baby-Faced Killer took the mound for Our Marines, looking at times super sharp, holding Orix to hits in only two innings and recording 10 outs in a row at one point. I don’t even have to tell you how this one ended up, do I? Orix 4, Lotte 1.
On a day when 39-year-old Tadahito Iguchi was named the Pacific League MVP for May, Our Marines battered the pitching staff of the Hiroshima Carp for 14 hits and 5 runs en route to a very nice 5-3 win. With losses by Rakuten and Seibu, Lotte jumps back to the top of the interleague standings and in front of the PL standings by a whopping 4 games. Who cares if it just turned June, this has been one enjoyable ride.
Truth be told, this wasn’t a very good game. And I am not just talking about the result – a 5-3 loss to the visiting Swallows – it was just a poorly executed game all around. Eh, it happens.