Interview with Mitsuru Manaka
Part 2 “Central League Top Team Strength Analysis”
The 2022 season pennant race, the Central League, is currently in an A-class battle between Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants and Hiroshima Carp. How does Mitsuru Manaka, a baseball commentator who has led Yakult to the championship as a manager himself, evaluate the fighting performance of the top three teams so far?(Read from the first part “New Director’s Early Battle Report Card” >>)
View photos related to this article
Even if Seiya Suzuki leaves the group, Hiroshima still has a good fight
–How does the current Central League look in the eyes of Mr. Manaka?
Mitsuru Manaka (hereinafter referred to as “Mitsuru Manaka”)At present, I think Yakult has the highest team power. I think it’s natural to be in the lead. And what surprised me personally was the good fight in Hiroshima. It would be rude to say “unexpected”, but Seiya Suzuki has lost the center of the team, but I feel that we can connect together, connect and score points, and pick up the winning stars.
— Then, I will come from Hiroshima. Currently, you are in 3rd place in the Central League, but do you have the impression that you are doing well?
middleIt’s a good fight. There is a strong awareness of “let’s cover together” for the disappearance of Seiya Suzuki. The first is Ryoma Nishikawa and Shogo Sakakura. If Kaito Kozono, who had been suffering from sluggishness at the beginning of the season, recovers and joins here, even more disgusting batting lines will be completed, and more and more “connecting baseball” will be possible.
— You also have the starting pitchers’ pieces.
middleIt turned out that Anderson can be used considerably where Nobuhito Morishita, Daichi Ohsera, Aren Kuri, and Hiroki Tokoda are solid. There are some uncertainties about the middle reliever, but if the starting lineup can make a solid match, throw a long inning, and connect to Ryoji Kuribayashi of the closer, the number of white stars will increase.
–In the case of Hiroshima, is the issue a middle reliever?
middleCompared to Yakult’s middle reliever team, it’s undeniable that it’s thin. However, in that sense, the Giants are the same.