Ten games in and Our Marines are at an even .500 with five wins and five losses.
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.
Ah, the fun time of the year, right? We fans, resigned to our fate as a B Class team, get to enjoy the stress-free pleasures of meaningless September ball. But is it so stress-free when the team can’t seem to put any runs across the plate?
I know I’ve written off the team on two separate occasions in just the last three weeks. We’re fans, that what we do. We’re still mathematically alive though, and this coming two week stretch is likely going to be the true determining period for Our Marines. The next two weeks features a home-and-home with the 2nd place Buffaloes, a home set with the 1st place Hawks in between, and then we end the month with a 3-game Tokyo Dome series versus the 3rd place Fighters.
After dropping game 1 in Osaka Our Marines blew the doors off the best pitching staff in the PL and took the series. Who saw that coming? And which team is going to show up at QVC, that team or the team that dropped the series to the Fighters? 48 games left, 6 games out of third, if there’s going to be a run it’s gotta be now.
The All-Star break is over, the second half of the season starts this week. The break actually could not have come at a worse time for Our Marines, as they won the first series in months vs Daiei at QVC behind some great pitching and a superb attack. Fortunately the next opponent is… Daiei, and the pitchers are largely the same.
Despite the series loss, there’s a lot positive to take away from the Rakuten series. The team has put up 3 or more runs for 7 straight games including the pair of 7 run showings in the first two games. Katoh has been crazy good at the plate ever since being called back up, and some of the pitching was quite solid.
This series could be an interesting one as our intriguing young pitchers go all three games – Ishikawa in game 1, Karakawa in game 2, and presumably Yuta Ohmine in game 3. Let’s see if they can repeat their recent solid performances and more importantly, if the entire team can come together and bring in some Ws.
As much as I enjoy interleague play, the passion just ain’t there for most of the series. After all, how much can you really hate a team that you see only a few times a year, and early in the season at that? Sure, there’s the Giants, but…
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.