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WBC: Iwakuma to start against Cuba; Suzuki 0-for-9 in second round; and more…

by on Mar.18, 2009 @ 11:04 am, under WBC

...Akinori Iwamura wasn't very happy to see Korea planting their flag on the mound again.

Said Iwamura, "They probably trying to appeal to the rest of the world. But I don't think anyone is going to look at that flag positively."

...Hisashi Iwakuma will be taking the mound for Japan tomorrow. The whole of Japan's fate rests on his shoulders.

Said Iwakuma, "I want to go out there and give it my absolute best. It's a game we can't lose and that's exactly how I want to pitch it."

Cuba will counter with 27-year-old righty, Yuneski Maya.

...Kenji Johjima on being thrown out of the game:

"The pitch seemed low and as a catcher, I don't think that pitch was ever called a strike for us, so that's why I didn't swing. I can't really argue about being called out on strikes, but being thrown out is something else altogether. That said, I do apologize for my actions (that were misunderstood by the umpire) and for being thrown out of the game."

...Hara joined Shuichi Murata over at third during a practice session prior to yesterday Japan vs. Korea game. Hara fielded a couple of balls and made clean throws over to third.

Said Murata, "As a player, I feel grateful [that he spent time with me like that]."

...Ichiro Suzuki is 0-for-9 in the second round of the WBC so far.

...Comments from Hara after the game.

On Darvish's start:

"The three runs in the first inning were really big. Darvish pitched a really strong game for us, but he had a bit of a rough outing in the first that gave Korea enough room to score."

On not being able to figure out Jung Keun Bong and Chang-Yong Lim:

"Bottom line, we couldn't hit either pitcher. Nothing will change what happened today, so it doesn't really make any sense for me to talk about this. We will, of course, address this at a team meeting, but more than anything, our focus is on getting to the next round. In terms of another match-up against Korea, we need to win tomorrow's game so I don't really want to get into what we did wrong, but simply focus on winning tomorrow."

On why Iwata wasn't taken out sooner...

"With regards to Iwata... Things have been going fairly well for us in terms of pitching changes. It seems that he couldn't get things going tonight, but he'll be fine. I'm sure it wasn't a very fun outing for him, but I'm sure it'll end up being a good experience for him -- something that will help him out moving forward."

...Comments from Korea's Jin Young Lee after the game.

On preparing for Darvish:

"I watched video of his games to see how he might approach us. I thought that to lefties, he might go after the outside corners, so that's where I was looking during my at bats."

When asked about the difference in levels of play between Korea and Japan:

"I used to think that Japan was better than us. But ever since the Olympics, I think we're on the same level and that we should be winning these games against Japan."

0 comments on “WBC: Iwakuma to start against Cuba; Suzuki 0-for-9 in second round; and more…

  1. knucklehead7

    The bad thing about losing Johjima was that he’s been one of the better hitters in the tournament for Japan.