Sanspo and Sponichi have posted some more of Masahiro Tanaka's interaction with the media after his start against the Phillies on March 1.
The fans gave you a warm reception.
I heard them and was happy. I feel I have to pitch well to make sure [the cheers] don't turn to boos in the future.
You got ahead in the count to the lead-off hitter and then gave up a hit.
That was completely my mistake. There were two strikes and the ball just went down the middle. It was a hitable pitch. I think there may have been other pitches or other options there. I'm sure these kind of things will change once the season starts. I think the pitch sequence ended that way because it was my first time.
What do you have to work on?
There are a lot of things. I will keep them tucked away.
You topped out at 94mph.
That sounds too fast. I didn't think I was throwing that hard.
What about your breaking pitches?
My slider was good. I was able to get swinging strikes. The splitter got away from me. The one that turned into a fly out to left [in the 5th]. That was a fat pitch. I need to hit the spots when I get ahead in the count.
Was the [strike zone] wide?
It did not feel that wide.
[Francisco] Cervelli said you switched gears.
I didn't really switch gears, it's just that I don't throw that hard in the bullpen. It was normal for me.
How did you feel mentally?
I didn't really get that excited. But I was able to pitch with some good tension. I think I was fairly calm.
Were you able to gain anything from watching the hitters?
It was a first for everyone. For me and for the hitters. And even if I were to face the same hitters, I think they would react differently. But it was good to see things like the swinging strikes. I have to keep studying [and keep making adjustments] too.
You have one more month before the start of the regular season.
I still have a lot to do to get myself prepared.
Source: Sanspo 3/3/2014
On looking back at your outing.
It was good that I was able face hitters and throw my pitches. I also didn't give up any walks.
There were a lot of eyes on you.
That really didn't bother me. I always think, "can people really be that interested in me?"
How was the MLB strike zone?
It did not seem that wide.
You threw thirty-two pitches. Was that a lot?
I could get away with fewer. But I already know that.
Did you learn anything from facing hitters?
It was a first for the hitter and for myself. And even if I were to face the same hitters, they would probably react differently. But it was good to see things likes swings and misses. I have to keep studying [and adjusting] too.
Source: Sponichi 3/3/2014
Tokyo Sports has posted a few quotes from Tanaka on pitch counts and workloads.
I was never the type to do a lot of throwing. There were times when I threw 100 pitches during spring camp [with Rakuten], but it just sort of happened in those cases. I am completely satisfied with the amount I am throwing now.
Ultimately, none of it matters unless you can pitch in games. I'm sure there are things you can learn while pitching in the bullpen, but I'm not sure why you have to throw 100 pitches. There are some that throw 100 or over 200, but I don't really have the need for that.
There is throwing a lot to get to a point where you are no longer wasting energy, but... in games, it's no good if you're that tired.
Source: Tokyo Sports 3/4/2014