Friday, March 31, 2006

Uehara Watch: Episode 1

Why should Matsuzaka get all the love? Kouji Uehara of the world famous Yomiuri Giants is trying to capitalize on a stellar WBC, and prove he's also worthy of Major League service. Like Matsuzaka, his ballclub is reluctant to post him and he patiently waits for his chance to go stateside. Getting his wish may prove impossible anytime soon, but it's a good chance for us to look at his more closely this season.

To that point, the Giants opened their season against woeful Yokohama and Uehara was joined by new teammate and fellow WBC hero "The Lion King", Seung Yeop Lee, who will bat cleanup for Yomiuri. Uehara was involved in a harrowing ordeal the other day, in which he crashed into a garbage truck. Apparently, he was okay. I won't be going into as much detail in recapping Uehara's starts, but the boxscore will tell you the story and it's noteworthy that both of these players were the heroes of the game. [VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS]

Uehara pitched a complete game, giving up 8 hits, 2 runs, striking out 4 and walking no one. He was 0-3 at the plate, but drew a walk. Nice start to a long season.

Lee was monstrous. He went 2-2, with 3 walks, 5 runs scored, a home run and 3 RBIs. He's looking to bring a title to the Giants, ending a very long drought. An MVP award may be in the making as well....

(In Japan, after every game the heroes are interviewed on the field, in front of the fans. Nothing insightful is ever said, and it's more for the purpose of lavishing praise on the players and allowing the fans to glow in the warm aftermath of the victory. If you care to watch it, despite it being in Japanese, you may find it interesting. Remember....after EVERY game.) [VIDEO]


Matchosan said...

Wow. A non-Bashanese (my nephew calls Japan "Bashan", and yes I'm leeching off his cool) batting clean-up for the Kyojin. What is nothing sacred anymore. What will Warren think about this.

Mike Plugh said...

Yeah. I have to say that it surprised me too, but Kyojin hasn't won in a billion years and must be tired of embarrassing themselves. It's even more shocking when you consider the gaijin in the 4-hole is Korean.

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