Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fall Baseball

The Fall campaign is underway in the Tokyo Big 6 League, and Yuki Saito became the first freshman in 80 years to start both the Spring and Fall openers. That's quite a feat for a young man, but we've come to expect these things from Saito, haven't we.

The US-Japan University exhibition was a big success for the Japanese team, but in some ways was quite a humbling experience for our man. It was apparent that Saito's fastball wasn't ready for prime time in the United States, and a lot more work both physically and mentally must be done before Saito can be considered a Major League prospect. That said, his tender age and his excellent mental ability have him on the right track, and the opener against lowly Tokyo University would prove to be the right medicine for him as he took the mound on the 8th.

The freshman was as advertised again for Waseda as the club powered to a 9-1 victory behind the power of senior outfielder Yukinaga Tanaka and the arm of Yuki Saito. Tanaka went 3 for 5 with a two run homer and a double for a total of 4 RBIs on the day. Saito was brilliant, working 7 innings on 98 pitches. He struck out 8 against a single walk and dominated the entire contest. Waseda is looking to repeat as Tokyo Big 6 champions, and I see little in the way of the club doing so. More soon.....