Another boost for Our Marines came off the field with free agent signing Alfredo Despaigne earlier in the week. We’re four games out of the post-season heading into this weekend. Maybe the slugger from Cuba is just the man we need to help us catch the 3rd place Fighters, but first we must get past the 4th place Lions. That brings us to this weekend’s rival series with the Lions at the Seibu Dome. The Lions jumped a half game in front of us on Wednesday, but this weekend we have the chance to leap frog them back into 4th place before Despaigne’s debut. We’re not going anywhere though without some more reliable pitching, perhaps the potential returns of Wakui and/or Naruse this weekend can provide that. Fingers crossed.
This series in Yokohama is tough to predict. One might think a warming up Chiba offense could give Yokohama arms fits, but it didn’t play out that way two weeks ago at QVC. The starting pitching is full of intrigue as Yuta Ohmine makes a surprise start in Game 2, with New New Lefty Ace Fujioka in Game 2.
This month has been a disaster so far in Lotteland. The pitching has been pretty suspect at times, and when the pitching is not suspect the bats have mostly remained silent. Chiba has lost 7 of the last 9, it is time for the talent we all know is here to start showing what they can do. No need for dominance, competence will do just fine.
Our Marines head back home after a four game interleague road trip that took us to Koshien and Hiroshima. We split two games in each series, yet our 6-2 interleague record still leads NPB. The BayStars make the trip to the other side of Tokyo Bay for this weekend’s series at QVC. DeNA currently resides in the CL basement, with Seibu being the only other team in NPB with a worse record. Speaking of the standings, we start the weekend tied for 3rd in the PL with the Fighters. The Fighters and Marines have identical records, with Lotte leading the season series at 7-2. All-Star voting has commenced, the weather is warming up, and the calendar turns to June. It’s starting to feel a bit like summer, let’s hope Our Marines heat back up as well.
The start of interleague could not be any better for Our Marines. The 4 game sweep of Yakult and Kyojin means Chiba has won 5 in a row. The pitching last series was great, and the bats have kept up the efficient production. Can everyone keep it up as the team hits the road?
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.
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.
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.
To be honest, this game was pretty depressing. Our Marines had some huge early opportunities to put a major hurt on Seibu starter Togame but generally failed to convert, while Lions bats had little resistance in beating up Fujioka. It adds up to a 4-2 Seibu win.