Do NOT be fooled by the relatively close final score – Our Marines get beat down solidly at Seibu Dome this afternoon. Not even having this season’s ace Nishino on the hill could stop the bleeding today. Nishino – first time all star, winner of 7, never given up more than 3 runs in a game – got shelled. The bullpen – not good. The offense – non existent. This all added up to a 7-3 loss to the Lions. With the loss and a win by Rakuten, Our Marines are in second place for the first time in well over a month.
Lotte actually scored first in this one, strange as it turned out. Kakunaka hammered a pitch from Seibu starter Togame in the 4th inning into the Lotte fans in right to give us a 1-0 lead. That was the first baserunner by any means of the game for Chiba, and it was also the last baserunner for Chiba until an Iguchi single with one out in the 7th. A complete power outage, basically.
Iguchi was actually erased immediately after his single by an Imae double play. It was that sort of game.
How did Lotte get to the three run total? With three consecutive hits by Nemoto, Kakunaka, and capped by an Iguchi triple (!!!) off the center field fence with two out in the 9th. Yes – totally meaningless.
As for the pitching? Let’s put it this way – Nishino gave up a dinger to Seibu’s Nagae. Nagae hit .037 last year (1-for-27) and was flirting with .100 again so far this year. Overall Nishino gave up 9 hits, 2 walks to only 1 strikeout with 5 ER in 6 1/3 innings of work. Hattori and Itoh took care of the rest, but they also were ineffective, Itoh giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in the 8th. He’s been getting shelled all season, and despite a couple of really nice outings his ERA is still north of 10. Ouch.
We enjoyed our time in the outfield regardless – we got to sing the Seibu Dome song for the first time I can remember – for years, at least by my recollection – so that’s nice. What’s not nice is Lotte pitchers have given up 7 or more runs in every game this month. Ohmine is going to try to change that tomorrow on Star Wars Day at Seibu Dome.