Since today was an off day for Our Marines, I thought I would share some picture from last Saturday’s ni-gun game at Yakult Toda Stadium.
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.
Happy New Year everyone. Considering Steve posted the official We Love Marines Memories and Best of 2013 blog, I figured it’s a good time to for me to weigh in with my first post of 2014. Here’s a mishmash some of my top memories from 2013 that didn’t make it into Steve’s post.
Friends, this was a hard-fought win. I said in yesterday’s writeup that this one was a must win, and win we did. It was classic playoff baseball – Our Marines needed some heroics to overcome the great pitching of Rakuten’s Norimoto and boy did we get it both from the mound and at the plate.
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?
For the second night in a row the Seibu Lions were involved in a 10th inning sayonara win which concluded on a close play at the plate. In a finish almost identical to the night before, the home side’s winning run snuck in just past a throw from right field and a swipe tag attempt at the plate. Unfortunately for Our Marines, and unlike the previous evening, Seibu happened to be on the winning end of such dramatics today.
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.
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.
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.
For the 4th series in a row, Our Marines came into the the 3rd game of the series with a chance to take it. And has been the case for every series so far in August, the Men of Chiba did just that, putting together timely hitting and impressive pitching from a whole host of players to take the finale from Nippon Ham 5-1.