28/07/2021 - 07/08/2021


Hosted by:   JPN

Baseball Olympic Games 2020 - Official Payoff
Managers Inaba, Borg name starters for Japan-Dominican Republic Olympic baseball opener
27/07/2021 1 Minute Read

Managers Inaba, Borg name starters for Japan-Dominican Republic Olympic baseball opener

The skippers revealed their choices at the pre-tournament press conference in Fukushima on Tuesday.

Japan and Dominican Republic National Team managers Atsunori Inaba and Hector Borg announced their starters for the opening game of the Olympic baseball tournament, scheduled on Wednesday, 28 July, at noon local time at Fukushima Azuma Stadium.

Inaba is going with Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a 22-year-old right-hander who started 16 games for the Orix Buffaloes during the 2021 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) season, posting an impressive 1.82 earned run average.

"We need his young energy," Inaba told reporters at the press conference. "He's been great all season, and I expect him to be himself. He should not think about going the distance but pitching one inning at a time. I want him to finish his innings."

Borg will send to the Dominican Republic mound 27-year old lefthander Christopher Mercedes, who has pitched since 2017 for the Yomiuri Giants of NPB. The 2020 season ended in advance for Mercedes, who had to undergo surgery to clean his left elbow.

"He is ready to face Japan," said Borg. "We are very happy to have him on the team."

Inaba said he respects the Dominican Republic.
"Their starting pitcher knows us well, we will have to work a good game plan to face him. The Dominican Republic has power bats, our pitchers will need to be cautious. It's too bad we are not going to play in front of fans, we'll miss them. Still, I hope we will do our best to inspire the people in Fukushima."

Hector Borg told reporters that he is aware of Japan's strength: "They are a great team; they play wonderful baseball. We are ready to compete at that level."

Borg said his hitters, who impressed in the qualifiers, can produce against top NPB pitchers.

"As I said, we are ready to compete," commented Borg on a final note. "I trust what we have. We are here to play the same game we played in Florida and Mexico."

Tokyo 2020 – Olympic Baseball