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.
Our Marines might be out of contention, but all kidding aside, it’s been an entertaining September. Take away the three shutout losses and 29 inning scoreless steak – which in it of itself became compelling – and Our Marines are 5-1. Playing spoiler to the Hawks’ first place run this holiday weekend could add some more September gratification.
We fans should never complain when our team goes into the final game of a series with a chance for a sweep, especially versus a solid team like Orix. So even though the result in that final game feels disappointing, like an opportunity missed, we’ll be happy with taking 2 of three.
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.
Our Marines and the Fighters of Nippon Ham meet again. It’s been two weeks since the Makuhari Massacre, when Hamu swept us out of the building and seemingly out of contention. We came into the series 4 games back, and ended up 7 back. A day later, we were 8 back of the Fighters for the final post season spot.
Break open your ledger and put Rival Series Part 1 in the books with an emphatic WIN for Our Marines. After weeks of futility, that’s 2 series wins in the last 3, and of course the one that Chiba lost could easily have swung the other way. I must say, cautiously, that things are looking up.
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…