Sanspo conducted an interview with Daisuke Ochi and I thought it might be of some interest.
You've appeared in 32 games, good for third, over your team's 62 this season. Are you tired?
I definitely get a little tired when I throw in a number of consecutive games, but I don't want to make that an excuse. I get my massages, but other than that, I'm not really doing anything special. I'm try to make sure that I never feel tired.
On your days off?
I try to sleep as much as possible. Sometimes I sleep 12 hours a day. I'm always thinking about ways to help my body recover.
You closed out some games this season for the first time. How is it different from being a setup man?
I'm just a temporary replacement. Once Kroon gets back, I'll go back to what I was doing before. And I've thought of myself as "the closer" at this point.
What do you do to relax?
I like to play with my dog (1 year, 7 month old, male Jack Russell Terrier). He's the only family I have in Tokyo, and the time we spend playing really helps me relax. He's the one thing that can get me to forget about baseball.
Your dog's name is Daikichi?
When I went to a Shrine near my house for our first walk, he pulled the fortune for Daikichi with his mouth. We go on a lot of walks actually. It helps me wake up. I wake up around 8 every morning and go on our morning walk before eating breakfast and heading out to the park.
You're currently a pitcher capable of throwing 155km/h, but your experience as a pitcher isn't really that long...
Up until my second year, I was a back-up catcher in high school and when there was a new team, I ended up being a back-up infielder. That fall, during a practice game, one of our pitchers got hit pretty hard and I was the only person left on the bench and someone asked if I wanted to give pitching a try. If not for that chance, I probably wouldn't be here today.
And that's how you became a pro baseball player?
I didn't think I had chance. I was only throwing about 128km/h back then.
Do you look up to any pitchers?
I look up to Uehara. He sort of took me under his wing. I also think we have similar pitching styles in that we both attack batters with fastballs and forks. We talked a lot about baseball and throwing techniques. I still talk to him over the phone every now and then to let him know how things are going.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
I want to help the team win and pitch in the Nippon Series again. In terms of personal goals, I'd like to try and increase my strike outs so that I can finish out the season with around 150. When I'm up on the mound, I'm pretty much only thinking about getting a strike out.