Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018 Seibu Lions Weekly Digest: Kikuchi dominates in first return to Pacific League

Photo credit: @naoto_524_photo
The Saitama Seibu Lions took two out of three from the Chiba Lotte Marines after losing a makeup game in Yokohama against the Baystars, which was recapped in a column from last week. They now have a two game lead on the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and maintain first place in the Pacific League.

Here is what happened:


The first game had Hideaki Wakui taking on Yusei Kikuchi. A flurry of timely hits as Shogo Saito and Shuta Tonosaki contributed early. However, this game belonged to Kikuchi as he went seven innings with no runs allowed. Tonosaki also had a modasho to cap it off.

Lions 5, Marines 1

Game note: Katsunori Hirai was called up while Tadasuke Minamikawa was deactivated.


Game two had Tatsuya Imai facing Mike Bolsinger. Hideto Asamura hit a three-run HR in the top of the first, but that is all the Lions would get. After some early Houdinis, Imai paid the price with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of third. Seiya "Aja" Inoue hit a grand slam and gave the Marines the lead for good. Due to the rain, this game was called after the Lions batted and failed to score in the 5th inning, resulting in a loss,

Marines 4, Lions 3 (5 innings)


The final game had Daiki Enokida taking on Tomohito Sakai. Offense had no trouble in this one after a timely hit from Hotaka Yamakawa and a three-run HR from Tomoya Mori to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the third. The rest of this game had the result of trading runs, but Enokida went 5.1 innings with only two of them allowed.

Shogo Saito ended up with the hero interview due to having a modasho and two RBIs. Fabio Castillo gave up a HR in the 9th, making it the second time he allowed a run in the ninth inning for a save.

Lions 8, Marines 6


The bullpen is still a concern, end of story. Deunte Heath looked better compared to others, but it's still a broken unit as Tatsushi Masuda has been pitching as early as the 6th inning. Props go to Shogo Saito if he can keep his job in the outfield for now. 

Still, lots of work to be done if this team were to be taken seriously.


Follow us on Twitter @GraveyardBall

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like a lousy bullpen to add some late drama to seemingly easy games. Winning 8-2? Hoe about an 8-6 squeaker!!
    I hope Castillo can get some 1, 2, 3 outs and some confidence!
    Still, it feels great to be in 1st. Can they make it to All Star weekend?