...Comments from Hara after the game:
"After a 14-run victory, no runs. This is baseball. If your opponent is pitching well, it's not easy to get hits. It was a 1-0 game and our pitchers pitched their hearts out. ... This loss tonight will only help strengthen our team bond. That renewed bond should help us in the US. ... We'll be representing Asia with Korea and will do our best to hang around until the end. We want to show the world what Asian baseball is all about."
...Comments from Ichiro after the game:
"The pressure was on them, not us, and look what happened. They are strong. I figured if we could beat them tonight it would give us a big advantage, but instead, we're even. ... I didn't want to lose, not even once. I wanted to win every game. It's not about losing by 1 run, the fact is, we lost and that really pisses me off. This was my last game in Japan. This isn't just about tonight. I'm really pissed off at myself. ... I'm already thinking about what comes next. It isn't so much of a physical thing, but rather a mental thing. We may have to change our approach based on the opponent."
...Samurai Japan have arrived in Scottsdale, Arizona. They will play exhibitions games against the San Francisco Giants (11th) and Chicago Cubs (12th) before flying out to San Diego.
...TV Ratings for the second Japan/Korea game are in: 33.6% for the Kanto region and 37.3% for the Kansai region. Peak ratings were recorded at around 9:39pm (bottom of the 9th): 47.2% for the Kanto region and 50.8% in the Kansai region.
...131,947 fans attended the three WBC games involving Japan -- an average of about 44,000 per game. That's a huge increase over the 29,000 averaged during the first WBC.
...It wasn't all bad last night. Yu Darvish did pitch an inning and he managed to strike out the side (albeit while also giving up a hit and a walk). Said Darvish, "My pitches were good. I'm happy that I was able to at least show Korea my best and make them feel a little uncomfortable about me."
Incidentally, the first official pitch he threw last night hit 150km/h (at least that's what was shown on the scoreboard).
...An interview with Katsuya Nomura on Japan's defeat against Korea will air on ＳＰＯＲＴＳうるぐす (Sports Urugusu) this coming weekend.
And slightly older news (by a day or so)...
...Seiichi Uchikawa might be interested in a job in the Majors. Said Uchikawa, "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested."
...Pitchers Yu Darvish, Hideaki Wakui, and Masahiro Tanaka, along with infielder Yasuyuki Kataoka, were playing catch at the Jingu indoor training facilities. While that in and of itself isn't very interesting, the fact that all four were playing catch while throwing with their left arms. Said Darvish, "[I practice throwing with my left arm] for balance."
Apparently, Darvish can also throw some pretty nasty breaking pitches with his left arm.