The Japanese national team, which advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), declared an all-out war to challenge for the championship.
Japanese media Sports 스포츠토토 Hochi said on the 14th, “Samurai Japan (Japanese baseball team) trained in preparation for the quarterfinal match against Italy on the 16th. Coach Atsuzawa Kazuyuki revealed the pitcher appointment in the quarterfinals.”
Japan, which failed to advance to the finals in two consecutive tournaments after winning the WBC in 2009, is aiming for its first championship in 14 years. The Japanese national team, which raised expectations by joining major league players such as Shohei Ohtani (Angels), Yu Darvish (San Diego), Masataka Yoshida (Boston), and Lars Nutba (St. Louis), won all four matches in the first round and advanced to the quarterfinals in first place. entered into
Japan will play in the quarterfinals against Italy (2 wins, 2 losses), who finished second in Group A, at the Tokyo Dome on the 16th. Japan is ahead in terms of objective power, but it is determined not to be vigilant.
Coach Atsuzawa said, “All pitchers who can go out stand by. The number of pitches (limit) also goes up. Irrespective of the innings, the pitcher in the best condition goes up first.” Yamamoto Yoshinobu (Orix), who threw 60 pitches in the match against Australia on the 12th, is not allowed to mound due to rest rules. Coach Atsuzawa said, “Everyone except for this player is waiting. He suggested an all-out war, saying, “The order of appearances has not been decided.”
Sports Hochi said, “In the game against Italy, Ohtani, who recorded 4 scoreless innings against China on the 9th, is likely to start. It is known that Darvish, who scored 3 runs in 3 innings against Korea on the 10th, will also be put in. Coach Hideki Kuriyama also emphasized that winning is the most important thing,” he said, predicting that both Ohtani and Darvish could start in the quarterfinals.
Ohtani, a pitching star, recorded a 2.33 ERA in 28 games (166 innings) last season, recording a career high as a pitcher.