02/11/2019 - 17/11/2019


Hosted by:   JPN MEX TPE KOR

II Premier12 2019 - Official Payoff

Press conference Mexico v Japan, Inaba: "Our pitchers had an excellent performance tonight”

Press conference Mexico v Japan, Inaba: "Our pitchers had an excellent performance tonight”
Managers Atsunori Inaba and Juan Gabriel Castro analyzed the game after Japan's win over Mexico

After the 3-1 victory of Japan over Mexico, during the press conference Atsunori Inaba, Japanese manager, and Juan Gabriel Castro, Mexican skipper, made their analysis of the game.

Both agreed on the impressive performance of Japanese starting pitcher Shota Imanaga. Inaba said: “Imanaga had a great performance tonight against a very strong Mexican team. He reduced the Mexican side to only one hit. And also the relievers were excellent, they didn’t allow a single hit. So each of our pitchers had an excellent performance tonight.”

In the other side, Castro expressed: “We must give credit to Imanaga, he combined his pitches very well, our hitters battled against him but he was just too good today. It was a good game, good pitching duel, we knew that it would be very difficult to face the Japanese pitchers, but it gives us more experience, in the case we face Japan again later in the tournament.”

Also in the press conference, Samurai Japan catcher Tsubasa Aizawa said: “We had some discussions during the practice games before the tournament, and we also had data about the Mexican opponent, so we were able to put up a plan going into this game. After the homerun, when we went back to the dugout our managing staff said that there’s nothing to do about it, and that approach made it easy for us. So I can have some word with Imanaga about what we should be doing in the next innings.”

The only hit for Mexico was a solo home run by Jonathan Jones in the fourth episode: "Honestly I was just looking for a good pitch to hit. I was trying to be aggressive, looking for a fastball and luckily I got and I hit it well”, said Jones. “Imanaga was great today, it was a great experience for the team; as well being in this atmosphere. The home run was a big moment for me as well. It’s a tough loss, but this game is going to be a great experience for the team going forward.”

After batting 0-for-4 last night against USA, batting in the seventh spot, Hayato Sakamoto batted second tonight, and had a great game, going 3-for5 with an RBI and a run. Asked about this change in the lineup, Inaba explained: “Sakamoto has batted second for the Giants, and in the Premier12 we had tried him in that position only once, so it was a very good opportunity to place him in the second spot. For today’s lineup, first we decided on the defensive positions, and then we decided that Sakamoto would be hitting second. Coming to this game I’ve been watching him during the practice games in Okinawa and in batting practices, he was doing making adjustments for the international game, so I really believed that he would come up with results in key moments.”

Castro made a final analysis of the game: “We knew the importance of this game, and of course we wanted to get the win and keep the streak alive. But the Japanese team played a good game, and they pitched really well. The key of the game was the first two innings when they made some damage because after that we stopped the Japanese offence. But today we couldn’t do anything against the Japanese pitching.”