March 2 Team Brazil interview
Q. About five hours ago, you were told it could be very nice if the miracle could happen; what was the impression of tonight's contest?
BARRY LARKIN: I thought tonight was a fantastic game. I thought both teams played very well, closely contested match. There were strategies on both sides. The better team tonight won the ballgame.
Q. For Team Brazil, this game without a doubt can be a big confidence for the future.
BARRY LARKIN: This is a very confident ballclub that we have. We have some definite philosophies that we try to execute out there. Once again, we gave ourselves a chance to win a ballgame. But Japan just kept coming and kept coming, and they just stayed at it. It was the kind of ballgame that I certainly enjoyed managing, and if you're a baseball fan, that's the kind of game you certainly can enjoy to watch. It was good on both sides of the ball. This guy sitting next to me is going to be a superstar, and is very proud of the way that our team played today. I'll be interested to see how we bounce back tomorrow afternoon.
Q. What is a strong point of Team Japan?
BARRY LARKIN: Japan has very good baseball players, No. 1, and they have a very defined plan, No. 2, and they execute. They have good pitching, they are a good defensive ballclub. They don't make many mistakes. That's just about everything. They do everything well. And you play Japan, you certainly know that you're going to have to play well in order to win. And we did play well, but once again tonight, they were just a little bit better.
Q. All three hitters hit off the Japanese top pitchers.
LEONARDO REGINATTO: It was a tough loss, tough loss. We are proud of ourselves.
Q. The pinch hit, you were pitching lefty instead of righty, what was the strategy?
BARRY LARKIN: Oscar Nakaoshi, who was pitching at the time was throwing the ball very well. We knew that Ibata was a guy that liked to hit the ball to right field. And the plan was to crowd him with pitches, but he backed up on a pitch that was a mistake out over the plate and he did exactly what he tried to do with it. We also had our defense playing a little stronger to the off side, and the ball just eluded our second base men. Unfortunately for us today, a couple balls, if they were hit a little more towards our fielders, we win that ballgame. But once again, you have to give Ibata credit; you have to give the manager credit for putting him in that situation, and I gave my players all the credit in the world and have total confidence that they can execute the game plan. Once again, they got to us a little better in that situation.
Q. Team Brazil looks like don't have pressure on themselves. The first couple innings, the batting approach is so good. As a skipper, what kind of approach are you maintaining the players to be free without any pressuring? And do you feel any pressures with a 40,000 plus audience?
BARRY LARKIN: One thing I love about working with my players is the fact that they have very loose personalities; that they love to compete. They love challenges. This was a challenge much like the challenge that we had to open up the qualifier in Panama. And it was really the same approach there. These guys love to compete, and I'm phenomenally proud to be associated with them. Our approach is just that, go out, compete. We have a game plan. Go out there, compete, have fun doing it, and we certainly do that.
LEONARDO REGINATTO: Yes, we play against inaudible throughout the two games. That experience gave us a credit. We get used to playing in Japan in front of a great audience. So thanks to those games. We also have experience last year when we play against Panama. We went through this experience. It is very tough to play without any pressure on it. But we just went through it. And also, we share the pressure as a team. That's the point.
Q. If you put Rienzo on the mound, Japan might have a tough time off Rienzo, did you have any game than that you could send him on the mound?
BARRY LARKIN: Our plan was to go with Fernandes today. We liked our game plan. Pitchers pitched very well. Rienzo will get his chance to pitch tomorrow.