Juan Gabriel Castro: “I like this bronze medal, next year we’ll be back here for gold"

Juan Gabriel Castro: “I like this bronze medal, next year we’ll be back here for gold"
17/11/2019
Castro: “I´m very happy for winning this game, earning the bronze medal and even more happy to qualify for the Olympic Games.”

Mexico made history today, qualifying to the Olympic Games for the first time in history. During the press conference after the game, Juan Gabriel Castro expresses his feelings about the game and the historic qualification to Tokyo 2020.

“I'm very happy about winning this game and earning the bronze medal. But I'm even more happy for the qualification for the Olympic Games. It’s the first time ever that Mexico will play Olympic Baseball, and I’m very proud of it.”

“I like this medal,” added Castro, showing his Premier12 Bronze Medal. “But next year we’ll come for the Gold Medal.”

Asked about the strategy to pitch in the extra-inning, Castro said: “We knew beforehand the tournament rules, and we talked about different kind of scenarios, to be ready. Obviously, every situation is different and tells you what to do, depending on the lineup and what you expect them to do. So there's not a single scenario, we were ready for every situation.”

USA began the tenth with runners on first and second and bunted to move the runners. Castro decided to intentionally walk Drew Waters to face Alec Bohm. “We had it in mind before. We knew that even when Bohm is a good hitter, I was very confident on my pitcher, so we took the chance to go for the double play. Luckily things were as we expected and we won the game in the next episode.”  

Carlos Bustamante pitched the tenth inning for Mexico, and escaped the jam with a strikeout and a fly ball. “I want to praise the performance of Bustamante in the tenth inning,” said Castro.

“He made his pitches and made the outs that allowed us to win.”

In the bottom of the tenth, Mexican manager sent Jones to bunt, even with two strikes. “The most important thing in this situation was to move the runners. We knew that if we could advance the runners, our chances to win would be better, even knowing that Jones was one of our best hitters during the tournament. Some times you need to play baseball, especially in these kind of tournaments, we played the small ball and finally it gave us the win.”

Efren Navarro became the hero with a game-winning, broken-bat single to center field. “

At the beginning of the inning, we knew Navarro would be the hero of the match. In that situation, after the bunt, we knew that he would be batting with the base loaded to win the game. I always trust in my hitters. Navarro had a great tournament, we know his experience and his quality as a hitter, so I felt very confident he would get the job done.”

Thinking on next year’s Olympic Games, Castro analysed the next months. “We’ll keep getting ready, even better than what we did for this event. As I said a few days ago at the press conference, Mexico is growing, you will hear Mexico’s name a lot of times and you’ll see Mexico in a lot of tournaments.”

“For Mexico, it was a great tournament for how we fought in Guadalajara and here in Japan. Even when we couldn't win the title, that was our final goal, it’s been a great experience. I liked the tournament. A great organization in Guadalajara and here in Tokyo, two incredible hosts. This motivate everyone to keep participating in this kind of events.”