Our Marines are 4-9 so far in May, as they head up north for a three game set in Sapporo. The roster changes and constant lineup tinkering have really ratcheted up this month, with the pre-game announcements accounting half the fun of following the team. It’s anyone’s guess which positions players will start this weekend, where they’ll be positioned, and in what spot they’ll bat in the lineup.
Wednesday’s win in Osaka halted a four game losing streak, pulling Our Marines back to a game below .500. Lotte followed a six game win streak that earned them a place in the top half of the PL standings by Lotte going 2-5 in their last seven games. We still occupy the third spot in the Pacific League even after the skid, as we prepare to host Rakuten for a three game weekend set at the Q.
Revenge is a dish best served cold…and windy. If there’s one thing QVC Marine Field in April elicits in most people’s minds, is the cold and wind. That makes this an appropriate time to welcome the 2013 Japan Series Champions, the Rakuten Eagles. You may recall that our 2013 campaign was halted in Sendai, in the Final Stage of the PLCS. Well, let’s give the Ma-kun-less defending champs a rude welcoming back to Chiba.
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.
So it has begun. Our Marines are off and running this 2014 NPB season – a season filled with high hopes of a PL flag, if not an NPB title – and they are getting it started in the home of arguably our biggest rival, Softbank. A good start would be a very welcome sight.
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.
In another fine example of the lack of skill I have at picking games, Rakuten beat Our Marines and Naruse 2-0 in the first game of the CS Final Stage. It’s not the end of the world by any means – a reasonable observer would expect Rakuten to have the edge in this one thanks if nothing else to Tanaka, and sure enough Tanaka was the difference.
The good news is, we are in Climax Series. We’re playing Seibu on Saturday. The bad news is, we could not possibly be slumping more, and Seibu could not possibly hotter. On the last night of their 2013 season, Our Marines got steamrolled by the Lions in Tokorozawa, 10-2. That’s three losses in a row to end the year for Chiba, compared to 8 wins in a row for Saitama.
Quick recaps for the games of 6/27 (@Orix) & 6/28 (v.SoftBank)
After a brief scheduled 4 day layoff that stretched to a 5th day following a rainout Friday, Our Marines restarted the Pacific League campaign with a whimper. Ace Naruse and the Lotte defense couldn’t stop Nippon Ham from scoring early, and as a result Chiba limped to a 4-2 home loss.