FUKUOKA — Fukuoka Softbank Hawks left-hander Toshiya Sugiuchi knows dwelling on his failure from the past won’t help as he sets out to start Game 1 of the final stage in the Pacific League Climax Series against the Lotte Marines on Thursday.
The 16-game winner, who loosened up in a light practice at Yahoo Dome on Wednesday, said he plans to stick with his game plan, even after his dismal showing last year in the postseason.
“There is no need for me to change anything with my style of pitching. I want to be able to set the pace so I can hand the game over to the bullpen or even throw a complete game,” said Sugiuchi, who was roughed up for seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings against the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the first stage of Game 1 in 2009.
That defeat was followed by a loss in Game 2, eliminating the Hawks from the playoffs for the fifth time since 2004.
Naruse ready to win
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Chiba Lotte Marines southpaw Yoshihisa Naruse is visualizing only one scenario when he gets his start for Game 1 of the final stage of the Pacific League Climax Series.
For Naruse, who contained the Seibu Lions to two runs in seven-plus innings in Game 1 of the first stage, winning is all that matters.
“I’m not really nervous like I was against Seibu. Actually, I feel relaxed and I just want to hurry up and get started,” Naruse said after warming up with a light game of catch at Fukuoka Dome on Wednesday. “I feel more excited than nervous.”
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