Daily Sports and Sanspo has posted portions of Shohei Otani's post-game interview.
First Daily Sports:
You recorded your first victory. This is you first hero interview.
Otani: The cheering from all the fans helped me throughout the game. My teammates also helped me. I think this was a great victory.
What do you think of your first victory?
Otani: I am very happy and while I am not sure I was able to live up to all the cheering, I think it was good the team was able to win.
Your notched your first victory in your second game.
Otani: I did not do a very good job during my last start and my teammates had to help so I wanted to do my best to keep the game scoreless [today]. I am happy I was able to help the team win.
How were you feeling on the mound?
Otani: The only thing I had to do was trust [Shinya] Tsuruoka and throw the ball where you put his mitt. In tight spots [Keiji] Obiki kept me going with calls of support with each pitch I threw. I really appreciate everything my teammates did for me today.
What will you do with the game ball?
Otani: [Takes the ball out of his back pocket and looks at it.] I want to give it to my parents.
Please tell us what your goals are as a pitcher.
Otani: I still have a lot of things I need to work on, but I want to work hard to help the team win.
How about as a position player?
Otani: I want to put up results regardless of how they plan to use me.
Tsuruoka, this was your first home run in two years.
Tsuruoka: I think I was more surprised about it than the fans. I forgot what it was like to hit a home run. I did not think I got enough of it... I am glad I was able to provide Otani with support so soon.
What did you think of Otani's performance?
Tsuruoka: He won so 100%.
Do you have any expectations for Otani as a pitcher?
Tsuruoka: I would like to see him become the kind of pitcher that can give the team a victory when it is going through a rough patch.
Any last comments for the fans?
Otani: I am number eleven, Shohei Otani. Your cheering gave me power. I will continue to work hard as I convert your cheers into motivation.
Source: Daily Sports 6/1/2013
You recorded our first victory.
I am not satisfied with how things went, but I am happy the team won. I feel like they let me win. Next time, I want to earn the win.
The defense helped you.
I just placed my trust in [Tsuruoka] and pitched. In tight spots, Obiki kept me going with words of support. I am grateful to my teammates.
Your retired the side in order in the 5th.
The way things were going, it was going to by my last inning. I wanted to do what I could. I forgot about everything that happened before [and pitched].
Did you get a good feel for things as a pitcher?
I gave it my best and got through five innings. I did not really get a feel. There are things I need to work on though.
Did this [outing] give you confidence?
I think I have a little wiggle room. Winning is better than losing. If I can throw fewer pitchers, then I can go deeper into games.
Source: Sanspo 6/1/2013
Chunichi Dragons Takeshi Yamasaki, Kazuhiro Wada, and Morimichi Takagi also commented on Otani.
Yamasaki: "[Otani] still does not have the knowledge of a pitcher. He is still feeling things out. ... He could become a great pitcher if he makes that his primary position. He has what it takes to become a super-ace, like a [Yu] Darvish or a [Toshiya] Sugiuchi."
Wada: "[Otani] has good velocity, but he took a hit after throwing about thirty pitches. Might be that he needs more practice."
Takagi: "[Otani] can throw 150km/h, but he is still not a pitcher. ... [Being a two position player] is difficult, but he is showing the possibilities."
Source: Sponichi 6/1/2013
Daily Sports provides a break down of Otani's outing:
- twenty-two batters faced
- eighty-seven pitches
- sixty-four fastballs
- eleven sliders
- five curves
- four cutters
- three change-ups
- forty-four fastballs were clocked at or over 150km/h
- fifteen of the eighteen pitches he threw in the 5th inning were fastballs; all except one was thrown in the 150s.
- topped out at 156km/h
- twelve of fifteen outs were recorded on fastballs
Source: Daily Sports 6/1/2013
UPDATE 6/2 @ 11:55am -
Sanspo has posted additional portions of Otani's post-game interview.
You threw a lot of fastballs to clean-up hitter [Hector] Luna in the 5th inning.
He hit my curve in his first at bat so I wanted to stay strong against him.
What did [Hideki] Kuriyama tell you in the dugout in the 4th?
I was beginning to elevate my pitches so he told me that he wanted me to make pitches we could be satisfied with. I was going to face the middle of the order [in the 5th] so I cleared my mind.
Which makes you happiest, your first hit [or your first victory]?
Both make me happy. I am not happy with my outing, but I am happy the team won. The game ball? I will give it to my parents.
Source: Sanspo 6/2/2013