Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tokyo Big 6 Sunday (and Kagami's interview from Saturday)

I'm heading to the Tokyo Dome tonight for the Lotte-Rakuten game. Despite it supposedly being almost sold out, and ALL the IF and 2F unreserved tickets are gone, I was able to buy a ticket in Reserved A, in the second row behind the Lotte dugout. I wonder what the HECK is going on, but guess I will see when I get there.

At the Seibu Dome on Sunday, people kept asking me, "Where were you all weekend?" I explained that I had to go cheer for Kagami-kun at the Hosei opener, and they were like "What kind of crazy person would rather go cheer for some college kid than for Darvish?"

Anyway, Sunday's games continued much in the same vein that Saturday's games did. Keio beat Tokyo again, although this time the Tokyo squad got 10 hits, perhaps to make up for their being no-hit on Sunday (this way they stll average out to a normal number for them), as Keio won the game 8-3. Koji Fukutani got the win. I still wonder when Tamura will make an appearance.

As for Hosei-Rikkio, Hayato Saitoh (Rikkio Ikebukuro HS) started for Rikkio and Tomoya Mikami (Ken Gifu Sho) started for Hosei. Mikami is a tall skinny kid (something like 6'4" 170) who pitched pretty well last year; it seems that it makes sense for him to be the 2nd starter behind Kagami, and give Mishima another year as the closer. (Assuming the guys ever score enough runs to need one.)

The best way to sum up what happened in this game is that the Rikkio pitchers walked too many Hosei batters. The first run came in on a double by Takuya Hiromoto in the 2nd inning, and then in the 5th inning, Nakao was hit by a pitch to lead off, Taki walked, and then Sasaki bunted them both up. Tetsuya Matsumoto then singled in both runners, and captain Ohyagi doubled to bring in Matsumoto for another run. (And neither runner would be there without the pitcher putting them there.) Sasaki added another RBI single in the 8th with another runner who had been hit by a pitch to reach base. Go figure. Hosei beat Rikkio 5-1 with the only Rikkio run coming in when Keisuke Okazaki managed a hard hit to short with runners at the corners; the rest of the team still couldn't do anything against Mikami with the bases loaded.

I mostly was just glad Kagami wasn't going to have to pitch Monday since he threw 146 pitches on Saturday. I've got a one-track mind, you know.

Anyway, the real reason I wanted to add a post here was that I was reading a post from the Hosei blog off Nikkan Sports about Saturday's game, with Kagami's comments, and I wanted to translate those:


- Looking back at today's game, how was it?
At first, they got the first run of the game off me, so that was a painful development, but all that matters in a league game is the overall result, so I'm glad we won.


- Today was your team's first game of the spring season. How was the team's atmosphere before the game?
Hmm... it was a good atmosphere, good feeling.


- When were you told that you'd be today's starting pitcher?
Tuesday or Wednesday.


- Did you do any kind of special preparation for this game?
I didn't change anything from the preseason -- just thought I would pitch as I always do.


- How's your physical form?
I felt better in the second half of the game. I wasn't exactly up to form during the first half.


- You came really close to hitting 150 km/h on the radar gun, didn't you?
Yeah, not bad at all. Though not necessarily good either.


- What's your impression of the Rikkio lineup?
They have a lot of batters swinging the bat hard, so I had to be careful. There were a lot of long hit balls during the game.


- Which Rikkio batters are you most impressed by?
Soichiro Tanaka and Keisuke Okazaki.


- That Okazaki hit a home run off you in the sixth inning...
He's a good hitter, as should be expected from the cleanup spot.


- What were you thinking in that last inning when it was possible for Rikkio to get a sayonara win?
From the first batter, I just thought to approach them one at a time. I didn't want to let any runners on base.


- Kagami-pitcher, you also had great self-confidence at the plate and got two hits!
Yeah, that was just by chance. Batting well today was a lucky bonus.


- Are you exhausted after pitching a complete game?
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't! But we have games tomorrow and possibly the day after that, so I want to go home and prepare for those, I think.


- Finally, what's in your sight for the next game?
We haven't gotten the series win for this yet, so, either for tomorrow or for whenever I have to throw next, I will do my best to prepare. We'll be working hard to win as much as possible.

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