Yes, four members of our Lotte Marines have been selected to represent the Pacific League in the 2015 All Star Series: Ikuhiro Kiyota, Hideaki Wakui, Katsuya Kakunaka, and Luis Cruz. Before we get into that though, let’s do a quick update on the state of Lotteland.
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.
We’ve long been fans of Ikuhiro Kiyota ’round this site, and I’ve been a strong advocate for putting him in the starting lineup and letting him get comfortable, seeing what he can do with extended playing time. What’s not to like about Kiyota?
We’re at roughly the third-of-the-way point of the 2015 Chiba Lotte Marines Golden Year presented by Steve and Craig at We Love Marines (dot) Com campaign and I gotta say that… yeah, the 21-23 record is a wee bit disappointing. With a win on Sunday at Orix we Fans of Lotte could have said, “Hey, at least we’re at .500”, but instead I’m just going to say “Hey, at least we ain’t Orix.” With that in mind, I want to focus a bit on the things I like so far this year.
We come into the forty game mark at 4-4 since we last checked in and 18-22 overall.
Golden Week concluded with the ninth game in nine days for Our Marines. Lotte went 4-5 in those 9 days, and 5-7 overall in the 12 games since we last checked in at the 20-game mark.
Who said there are no championships to be had for Our Marines this season? Sure, we fans wanted to see the Pacific League and NPB championships most of all, but you know what? The NPB Farm Championship is right behind those.
Rookie phenom Ayumu Ishikawa completed his season – and Lotte’s – season in style with his best pitching performance of his nascent career. Backed by a ferocious offensive attack and the collective will of a jam packed home outfield cheering section, Ayu went the distance in a complete game, no walk, 10 strikeout masterpiece. It’s the sort of performance that wins a guy a Rookie of the Year award.
The first home series? Yeah, not so good. But that’s OK, the rotation is reset, we get a do-over. It’s time for the first weekend home series, and I don’t know about you but to us at We Love Marines, that’s the REAL start of the season.
139 wins in a row starts now.
After a brutal opening series, Our Marines are poised to officially open up QVC Marine Field for 2014. The home opener features our Kanto rivals the Seibu Lions. You may remember the Lions from Stage One of last year’s Climax Seires, where we took two of three in Tozorazawa to end their season. We also crossed paths in the offseason with Class A free agent pitcher Hideaki Wakui deciding to dump Seibu in order to sign with Lotte for two years, 440 million yen. Hopefully we can rebound from the weekend’s sweep, starting Tuesday night and onto Wednesday and Thursday for twin matinee 2:00 starts.