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Samurai Japan News and Notes: March 20, 2013

by on Mar.20, 2013 @ 11:41 pm, under WBC

Seiichi Uchikawa is still having a hard time coming to terms with how things ended.

Uchikawa posted an update on his blog about his disappointment in losing the WBC and thanked fans for their support.

The Softbank Hawks received over 250 messages of support from fans for Uchikawa.  They also received one or two negative messages.

A fake Uchikawa Twitter account (@UchikawaSei1) made the rounds.  The Hawks and Uchikawa posted announcements warning fans.

Source: Sanspo 3/20/2013, Nikkan Sports 3/20/2013, Daily Sports 3/20/2013blog entry 3/20/2013, Sponichi 3/20/2013

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About 100 fans greeted Samurai Japan at the airport on Tuesday.  That was down from the 1,000 or so that showed up at the airport after the 2006 tournament and the 1,200 or so that showed after the 2009 tournament.

Source: Sports Hochi 3/20/2013

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Sponichi has posted portions of strategy coach Hideki Hashigami's interview with the media.

In the semifinals loss against Puerto Rico, the 8th innings failed stolen base attempt rings loud.

[J.C.] Romero was on the mound.  Our data had him at about 1.8 to 1.9 to the plate.  To steal base, we figured about 1.6.  We were 100% sure we could run.  We confirmed our data by checking the first pitch.

But it ended in failure.

We confirmed important issues for stealing bases during practice games.  If the runner on first gets a late lead, they should not force it.  The runner on second should not try to hide his start.  But that information did not entirely sink in.

The offense could not hit Mario Santiago.

He threw a lot of two-seamers and change-ups, just like our data indicated.  However, he threw the two-seamer away instead of inside.  That was not in our data.  By staying on the outside corners, you take away the long hits.  They probably made changes based on the specifics of the stadium.

The catcher was Yadier Molina.

He is clever.  He sets up inside close to the batter.  He watches the hitters face until the very last minute.  Very insightful.

On how Puerto Rico played their game.

They are kind of like Japan.  They used the bunt and hit and run, like Japan.  I thought one of the requirements in winning an international tournament was the difference between yakyu and baseball.  Against Puerto Rico, both teams were playing yakyu.  That made it difficult for us.

Source: Sponichi 3/20/2013

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Kiyoshi Momose is the Pittsburgh Pirates' Latin American Strength & Conditioning Coordinator.  He also became a conditioning coach for the Dominican Republic beginning in the 1st Round at the request of the MLB.  He was only supposed to be with the team for about a week, but Tony Pena apparently liked his work and asked the Pittsburgh Pirates for permission to keep him through to the end of the Finals.

Source: Sanspo 3/20/2013

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