After a wonderful start to the previous series, things did not go so well for Our Marines in the Rakuten series, and the wheels are spinning a bit. There seems to be the vague scent of panic in the air for some reason (I say ‘for some reason’ as it’s just 10% of the way into the season) as players have been swapped en masse between ichi-gun and ni-gun.
So since the REAL start of the season Our Marines are a solid 3-0. Ignore what the official standings say, we’re a forward looking bunch at We Love Marines. This week the guys are heading west to Osaka, putting on their fancy black and red duds, and challenging the blazing hot Buffaloes to a 3 game set.
Things didn’t start pretty for Our Marines on Wednesday night. The first place Rakuten Eagles started the game by putting a crooked number 4 on the scoreboard in the first inning off starter Seth Greisinger. Seth managed to settle down though, going 5 innings while only giving up one additional run. This kept Chiba within striking distance, allowing for a comeback win in one of the most exciting game thus far in 2013. Veteran catcher Satozaki hit a sayonara solo home run in the 11th, giving Lotte a 6-5 11th inning walk off win!
What a nasty weekend for Our Marines in Sendai! Friday’s 9th inning disappointment carried over to a total pitching disaster and an 8-1 loss on Saturday and another inexplicable meltdown – a 5-4 loss – on Sunday.
Braz. Braz. Braz. BRAZ. Chiba fans are CRAZY about Braz! Why? After Tuesday’s debut home run (and gyudon celebration), the newest Lotte extended his Lotte career hitting streak to 8 games with another jack, and capped his night off with yet ANOTHER bomb! The power extravaganza helped propel Our Marines to a 7-3 victory over visiting Daiei, and cements Chiba’s second place standing at the end of the first “half” of the season.
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.
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.
When Chunichi and Lotte get together, brevity and subtlety tend to go AWOL. These last two games with the Dragons at QVC Marine Field were no exception.
The DeNA (nee Yokohama) BayStars rolled in to QVC on a damp Wednesday evening fronted by their ace, Daisuke Miura. 9 innings later Our Marines had been completely shutdown as Miura and Co. emerged on top via a a 3-0 shutout. With the loss, Chiba has dropped 4 in a row and the lead in the Pacific League is down to 1.5 games.
This week Lotte went to Tokyo Dome to avenge the loss (and tie) against the Kyojin at Chiba Marine Stadium Field presented by QVC. It wasn’t the most elegant of set of victories but victories they were, as Our Marines came back at the last possible moment in both games to sweep the 2 game …