July hasn’t always been the kindest month to Our Marines. The summer collapse has become somewhat of a tradition around here. Maybe it’s due to some unique home field advantage we get from the brutal early-season Marine Field conditions, but it always seems that our PL opponents hit their strides and overtake us the weather …
Our Marines took to the road for the first time this past weekend, taking two of three games from the Orix Buffaloes in Osaka. Just like the sakura all around Chiba Prefecture, Our Marines have also blossomed quite beautifully into a first place team over the weekend, sitting atop the PL with a 5-3 record. …
Our Marines took the first series of the year two-games-to-one over the Hawks in Fukuoka. That’s wins for Wakui and Rhee, with Chen taking the tough luck loss in game 2. All three of these guys weren’t even on the team two years ago, with Chen and Rhee coming over as free agents this year. Not bad way to start the season in the defending champ’s building.
There’s just nine games left to go, all of which are at home, with the last full three game weekend set starting tonight. It’s still a tight race for the bottom three spots in the PL, with Rakuten and Seibu tied for forth, and Our Marines a half game back. If for some strange reason you’re curious, the puts of nine games back of third. So technically we are not eliminated from the post-season just yet, but the magic number is three.
There’s really no other way to put it. This week’s sweep at the hands of the Fighters basically ended our chances for a late summer post-season run. Sure, crazier things have happened than a 7 game comeback with 51 games to go. For all intents and purposes though, we’re probably finished. I’m ok with that. Overall, I’m satisfied with the effort and fight put forth from our guys.
On Saturday the bullpen couldn’t back up Karakawa’s six and a third, one run performance. Little by little, the Nippon Ham Fighters picked away at Lotte’s 2-0 lead to win in sayonara fashion. The final score would read Fighters 3 – Marines 2 in 10x inning.
Our Marines won back to back games in the Sapporo Dome on Friday and Saturday, taking Friday night’s game 4-1, and Saturday’s game 7-3. Here’s a quick recap of each…
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.
Our Marines traveled to Sendai for a three game set with the second place Rakuten Golden Eagles, bringing with them a two game lead over Rakuten in the Pacific League. Two blowout losses (by a combined score of 15-4) and a rain-out later, and we are now no longer in sole possession of first place. Two poor outings by Lotte starting pitching are in part what allowed the Eagles to stake their claim for a share of the top spot in the PL. At nearly the half way point of the season, the two teams now find themselves tied with 40-30 records – Lotte has played one additional game resulting in a tie (40-30-1).
Quick recaps for the games of 6/27 (@Orix) & 6/28 (v.SoftBank)