Sanspo has comments from Yuki Saito after his outing last night.
You were brought into the game the early*...
I never thought Masaru [Takeda]would get hit so hard. Honestly, I was surprised. I was really nervous. I really didn't want to get hit so I focused really hard on each batter.
You got by without allowing a run...
I did give up a hit to [fellow Waseda alum Norichika] Aoki, but I retired the batters after him so I felt relieved.
Were you able to pitch your game?
Maybe, just barely.
The fans cheered a lot for you...
I felt I was able to bounce back. I was just so focused when I was pitching. Now that it's over, I think I had good time. I do feel grateful about being able to pitch in an All-Star game.
Did you feel more nervous or excited during your first All-Star game appearance?
Both. I think this was a good experience for me. The guys behind me weren't all Fighters and the catcher was different. It felt a little strange. I only threw my fastball, slider, and fork today.
During your Waseda University years, you mentioned something about providing entertainment when you turn pro...
I think this was a good first step towards realizing that.
On your next All-Star game outing during Game 3 on the 24th...
I don't know what kind of situation I'll be pitching in, but I want to do what I can to take in the All-Star experience.
* Saito was originally scheduled to pitch beginning in the 7th.
Some interesting facts: The last time a rookie entered an All-Star game in the middle of an inning was Koichi Morita (CHU) in 1991. If he also pitches in Game 3, he'll be the first rookie to pitch in multiple All-Star games since Yasuyuki Kawamoto (LOT) in 1992. Last night's game was also the first All-Star game that featured two rookies since 2003 when Katsuhiro Nagakawa (HIR) and Tsuyoshi Wada (SOF) appeared in the same game.
Saito's pitch-by-pitch outing from last night:
Bottom of the 5th
Hirokazu Ibata - fastball (139km/h, ball), fastball (141km/h, grounder to short)
Ryoji Aikawa - fastball (141km/h, strike looking), slider (126km/h, double to center)
Masahiro Araki - fastball (--, infield hit)
Matt Murton - shuto (140km/h, foul), shuto (140km/h) foul, fork (134km/h, grounder to short)
Bottom of the 6th
Norichika Aoki - shuto (137km/h, strike looking), fastball (142km/h, strike looking), shuto (--, ball), shuto (138km/h, ball), cutter (129km/h, single to left)
Kazuhiro Hatakeyama - fastball (136km/h, strike looking), shuto (136km/h, check swing strike), fastball (--, foul), change (124km/h, ball), fastball (138km/h, ball), fastball (141km/h, hit into DP)
Shuichi Murata - shuto (135km/h, ball), slider (124km/h, swinging strike), fork (--, ground out to short)