For those of you that haven't been following this blog for very long, I'm a big fan of Katsuya Nomura. He may also be one of the main reasons why baseball in Miyagi has gotten so big.
Over the years, Nomura has built up quite a rapport with reporters that it's something you really need to see in order to understand. But it's this rapport that has provided him with a stage to expose his witty (and sometimes pointed) humor. And it's this very humor that has won over a lot of baseball fans in Japan.
In any case, I thought it might be time to start posting his post-game interviews separately from my usual news updates because I think they really stand well on their own. And since I just realized that the Rakuten web site publishes most of his post-game interviews, I'll see what I can do about translating them on a more regular basis.
So without any further ado...
Comments from Katsuya Nomura after Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Hanshin Tigers:
Today's game was disappointing. But I think it was a good game to watch. That's probably the only redeeming thing about it. I think the fans had a nice time.
We just didn't have any luck. We didn't have any good hits, they all went right at someone. That one hit by Kenshi [in the bottom of the 9th] is a good example. When we're winning, those usually get by the fielders. Hit right on the button, but directly at someone. I'd like someone to introduce us to luck.
What did you think of Tanaka's performance?
He was very good right from the beginning. I even thought that he might somehow pull off a perfect game in the 4th.
I don't really want to get upset when he gets hit, but if I had to pick a batter, it has to be Hiyama's at bat. He shook off the catcher and then his fastball was hit. He didn't have any reason to shake off the catcher. The catcher's are doing the research and they have the experience. So I told him that he really needs to trust the catchers more. Shaking off signs can be an interesting tool to get inside the batter's head, but when most pitchers shake off the catcher, it usually means a fastball is coming next. So unless you've got a really good reason, you shouldn't be shaking the catcher off. That one pitch really ended Tanaka's night.
Other than that, there was that squeeze play in the 7th. It's not like we needed a perfect bunt. We still have problems making those small plays.
Shima did end up striking out during that at bat.
I really wanted a run that inning. With the count 2-1, I sent out the sign for a hit-and-run... That was my fault.
When you lose, everything works against you. In hindsight, I probably should have given him the sign to bunt again. One run would have made it easier for Ma-kun to pitch, and it would have been a big run because it was Ma-kun on the mound. No sense kicking a dead horse, but you really need to get those kinds of bunts down the first time around. And if we want to stay high up in the standings, these are the little plays we need to make.
Naoto Watanabe returned to the line-up today.
He batted with two outs in his last at-bat, I really wanted him to come through. I didn't really want to say anything about it, but that at bat didn't go very well.
It would be nice if the team can turn things around with Watanabe's return.
We still have a few more players that are hurt. I'd really like Kawagishi back. We really need some relievers.