“Darvish selected for Korean match, No. 1 Ohtani-ML Nutba hitter No. 8” Japanese coach

 The lineup of the Japanese national team for the WBC Korea-Japan match is like this.

On the 29th, Hideki Kuriyama, the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan national team coach, appeared on a special interview with Oricon News, a Japanese local media, and conveyed his conception of his lineup.

Director Kuriyama said on the broadcast that day, “I think Yu Darvish will be in charge of the first selection for the national team.”

Initially, various foreign media predicted that Shohei Otani would be the first WBC starter in Japan. 

However, Kuriyama’s choice was Darvish, and Japan’s opponent in the first match, Korea, was more likely to face Darvish.

Darvish has appeared in Korea three times. 

In the 2009 WBC, he pitched in relief in the 1st and 2nd place match in the 1st round, scored 1 inning and scored 3 runs in 5 innings in the 2nd round. many.

Following this, coach Kuriyama dropped Ohtani as the second starter. Ohtani is regarded as Japan’s sure-to-be winning ace as he doubled as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of the Major League Baseball.

Last season, as a pitcher, he performed his best with 12 wins and a 3.26 ERA. 스포츠토토

In addition, the 3rd starter in Japan was Rocky Sasaki of the Chiba Lotte Marlins, the 4th starter Orix Buffaloes Yoshinobu Yamamoto, and the last 5th starter was Shota Imanaga of the Yokohama Baystars.

The expected batting line of the Japanese national team was also solid. Director Kuriyama’s WBC table setters (hitters 1 and 2) are expected to be Shohei Ohtani and Yakult Swallows catcher Yuhei Nakamura.

Here, coach Kuriyama, along with the MC of the broadcast, formed a cleanup trio (batters 3-4-5) with first baseman Yamakawa Hotaka, second baseman Yamada Tetsuto, and third baseman Murakami Munetaka.

Murakami Munetaka, in particular, is a long hitter who hit 56 homers, the highest number of home runs by a Japanese player, last season for Yakult.

The 6th hitter is shortstop Genda Sosuke, the 7th hitter is right fielder Saiya Suzuki, the 8th hitter is center fielder Lars Nutba, and the 9th hitter is left fielder Masataka Yoshida.

Lars Nuthba, the 8th hitter, is a mixed-race American player who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals in the major leagues, just like Tommy Hyeon-su Edman of the Korean national team. 

As a reason for his position in the bottom lineup, coach Kuriyama said, “I expect him to show explosive power in the bottom lineup.”

Meanwhile, Japan is in Group B with Korea, and faces Australia, China and the Czech Republic.

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