An interview with Team Japan

Q. You just showed a huge appreciation for Ibata and Nakata. First, can you briefly make a comment for both Ibata and Nakata?

KOJI YAMAMOTO: All of the Japanese fans are showing their appreciation for Ibata. So am I. And Nakata, sitting next to me, he's such a young player, he got the game winning RBI sacrifice fly. It is good enough.

Q. The game time was over four hours and 30 minutes. What was in your mind when you got the last final out of the game?

KOJI YAMAMOTO: Yes, well, we had a lot of opportunity from the first inning but we couldn't score. We are a little nervous and we had various situations, and I am happy about the result.

Q. You scored the first run and also the game tieing RBI single. What was in your mind when you have an at bat?

HIROKAZU IBATA: To be honest, I don't really remember. But overall, I am kind of relaxed because we are behind, compared to the times where we scored and we were ahead. The result was, I just got a base hit, and I didn't think of that too much very seriously. Maybe that's why I got a base hit.

Q. You got the game winning sacrifice fly, what was in your mind when you go through that at bat?

SHO NAKATA: Yes, I've got a lot of runners in scoring positions, but I couldn't get any RBIs. But the game captain, Abe, told me to not put too much pressure on me and just be relaxed. That was the comment from game captain, Abe. That helped me a lot.

Q. You are going to have a day off tomorrow, and you have a game against the Dutch, which there is a huge game between win and lose.

KOJI YAMAMOTO: Yes, what a ballgame, and I am so much pleased that we can win. When I got the final base out of the game, and as soon as I see the clock of the ballpark, I realized, oh, do I have to play tomorrow, and the next thing I realized, no, no, we won and we have a day off tomorrow. That's what's in my mind.

Q. What is your general impression of Team Chinese Taipei? In the pregame press conference you told us that Team Chinese Taipei is very tough. What is your impression after you played against them?

KOJI YAMAMOTO: Yes, all the hitters' swings are very sharp. Their swing mechanics is so compact. And when Tanaka gave up a go ahead run, at that moment I felt they are very tough competitors.

Q. You had a very emotional game today, and you do have a day off tomorrow to rest. You know you're going to play the next game. Can you talk about the Dutch team and what you saw from them so far and what you've seen from them so far, because I know that there was a report out that you didn't have a lot of data on that team.

KOJI YAMAMOTO: Yes, to be honest with you, my mind is not focused on Team Netherlands. But this afternoon, I was watching Team Netherlands playing. Their offense is sharp and they have got also power. That's what I felt by watching the game.

Q. Tell me about the pitching relay. I felt this could be a lefty/lefty situation but it's not sometimes and sometimes it's a behind feeling. Was it a tough situation because you didn't know if you were going to have a game tomorrow or the day after tomorrow until you get a win or loss?

KOJI YAMAMOTO: Yes, of course, and I also have to think about the extra innings. The result, if we could beat Chinese Taipei tonight, I know I'm going to complain a lot. But anyway, I'm so happy because we win.

Q. You actually played against Wang Chien Ming. Do you have any differences between the pregame information and actual at bat?

HIROKAZU IBATA: Yes, he is exactly as I imagine, and there is no such pitchers in Japan. There's no such pitchers in Japan, so I was kind of surprised when I played against him.