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  • Speaker 1: Well it's another

  • great day here in Tokyo Japan

  • where last night fans in this

  • baseball crazed city got to

  • celebrate their favorite son.

  • Speaker 2: As each year old took

  • center stage in the 2019 regular

  • season opener as the sun sets on

  • his great career it rises

  • tonight on the latest Japanese

  • phenomena.

  • Speaker 1: You say Kikuchi makes

  • his major league debut in front

  • of what will be another very

  • enthusiastic Tokyo crowd.

  • It's Game 2 of the Mariners and

  • the A's from Japan.

  • And welcome to Major League

  • Baseball's Japan opening series

  • on ESPN our telecast is

  • presented by Edward Jones.

  • KUHN Bonsoir Yoko So Tokyo a few

  • more days I'm going to be

  • speaking a lot more words.

  • Welcome to Tokyo.

  • And good evening to you it's

  • Game 2 of this Japan series as

  • we open the season with the

  • Mariners and the athletics Dave

  • Fleming Eduardo Perez happy to

  • have you with us here again

  • tonight from the Tokyo Dome

  • where last night we saw quite a

  • scene did we with each euro

  • celebrated by these people who

  • just love him so much we don't

  • know if tonight is gonna be the

  • last game that he plays but I

  • think the fans here are going to

  • treat it that way yes they are

  • they are going to treat it that

  • way and the fan in me that has

  • seen each euro as an opponent as

  • a competitor and also as a

  • teammate I also believe this

  • could be it for him but I'll

  • tell you why it's because of the

  • way he goes about his business

  • before the game today he could

  • see that there's some emotion.

  • Speaker 2: Let's see how that

  • carries over.

  • Speaker 1: All right.

  • We will see.

  • Meanwhile I don't know if it's a

  • passing of the torch or not but

  • you say good coochie a great

  • pitcher from Japan is gonna make

  • his major league debut tonight

  • on the mound for the Mariners

  • What do you expect to see.

  • Speaker 2: Body control.

  • It's amazing to see a lot of

  • these Japanese pitchers when

  • they go to the United States.

  • How are they going to prepare.

  • How they're going to be ready.

  • This is one guy that has great

  • balance on the mound but most

  • importantly he's also has to

  • control his emotions because

  • we're in his home country Japan.

  • We'll see how he does a little

  • bit later.

  • Speaker 1: Yeah maybe not as big

  • of a deal as each role playing

  • here but it's a huge deal in

  • this country and it won't be

  • easy for Kikuchi.

  • He's facing a very powerful

  • lineup the A's who were third in

  • the big leagues and home runs

  • last year and they hit three on

  • opening night last night.

  • Speaker 2: They do and that's

  • one thing they do they can hit

  • the long ball you get runners on

  • base that's one thing that they

  • look for and it's from line to

  • line.

  • That's the most impressive part

  • about it watching Chapman

  • yesterday was impressive Davis.

  • These guys understand how to

  • understand how to elevate the

  • baseball.

  • Let's see if they'll understand

  • Kikuchi cutter.

  • Speaker 1: So he's been a

  • terrific way to start this

  • season and we've got game 2 of

  • the MLB season here from Tokyo.

  • Coming up next.

  • A gorgeous scene high up above

  • the Tokyo Dome here in the

  • world's biggest city and one of

  • the world's great cities we get

  • ready for Game 2 of the MLB

  • season.

  • The Japan series here from

  • Tokyo.

  • Speaker 2: And as the A's take

  • the field the Mariners coming up

  • they are the road team for both

  • of these games.

  • Here is what their lineup looks

  • like.

  • Eduardo they scored nine runs

  • last night on opening night so

  • why not keep it mostly the same.

  • Speaker 1: Absolutely.

  • Gordon's been getting on base.

  • We saw it yesterday.

  • Speaker 2: Edwin Encarnacion

  • gets it going early on in the

  • season.

  • This is a guy that can carry a

  • team.

  • Speaker 1: With his bat and they

  • will face Marco Estrada who has

  • been around for a long time.

  • Twelve major league seasons or

  • at least parts of them making

  • his Oakland debut here tonight.

  • And Estrada's first pitch up the

  • season 2 D Gordon.

  • Missed tie with our home plate

  • umpire Bill Wilkie behind the

  • plate tonight.

  • Speaker 2: There was a strike

  • from Estrada who was signed by

  • Oakland in the offseason Eduardo

  • the A's.

  • We know they had lots of

  • questions about their starting

  • rotation.

  • Speaker 1: And he is slotted in

  • as the number two at least as of

  • now.

  • Coming off what was probably his

  • worst major league season last

  • year with the Blue Jays.

  • That is again one thing that he

  • has spells.

  • If this guy is healthy.

  • Speaker 2: He is able.

  • He is going to be able to help

  • the athletics early on in spring

  • training got her with his back.

  • Speaker 1: It's really slowed

  • down the development he hasn't

  • pitched in the last two weeks.

  • So there is a major question

  • about how long he can go how

  • effective he can be D.

  • Gordon went after that high

  • pitch from Estrada and hit a

  • foul ball out of play and the

  • key to success is going to be.

  • This change.

  • Everybody talks about it.

  • It's a pitch that he'll throw

  • any count he'll elevate the

  • fastball especially late in

  • counts when he's ahead.

  • Andy Gordon who had a big impact

  • for the Mariners in last night's

  • game.

  • Almost like he was showing a

  • bunt even with two strikes.

  • The count is now 2 and 2.

  • Speaker 2: Well we don't want

  • make too much about it Eduardo

  • because it's Game 2 of one

  • hundred and sixty two.

  • We're very early but the A's are

  • clearly a contender for the

  • division for a World Series.

  • Speaker 1: Gordon goes down

  • swinging.

  • I think that was the Marco's

  • strategy.

  • Speaker 2: Jeff it's a good

  • start for him each year.

  • Speaker 1: Oh wait.

  • Does Seattle duck out.

  • He's ninth in the batting order.

  • We'll talk plenty about each row

  • Suzuki tonight.

  • Could be playing could be the

  • final game of his extraordinary

  • professional career nine seasons

  • here in Japan and 19 years if

  • you count this one as a big

  • leaguer going to the Hall of

  • Fame.

  • You saw the starting pitcher

  • finished with his warm ups as

  • well you say Kikuchi he'll make

  • his major league debut tonight

  • as Mitch Hannigan goes after the

  • very first pitch from Estrada

  • Sky's run up against the roof of

  • the Tokyo Dome how to play foul

  • ball strike one kind of get

  • ahead of the poor he throws that

  • changeup one thing that right

  • handed hitters do have an

  • advantage against Marco Estrada.

  • This is where Estrada has now

  • come back and start throwing a

  • little bit more curve balls and

  • I expect to see that this season

  • the Oakland Athletics like to

  • get more out of their pitchers

  • when they bring them in from

  • other organizations I think that

  • curve ball is gonna be used

  • heavily.

  • And we'll try to show you some

  • of the defensive alignments the

  • A's will be pretty aggressive

  • shifting on the pull side for

  • the right handed hitting Mitch

  • manager who goes after the

  • second one and fouls that one

  • out of play it's quickly 0 and 2

  • I just want to go back to the

  • big picture point John the A's

  • have power right they have

  • defense they have a bullpen that

  • could be one of the very best in

  • the game the biggest question by

  • far for Oakland by far is their

  • starting rotation and they need

  • performance from a lot of guys

  • who didn't necessarily have

  • great performance last year and

  • I think Estrada is near the top

  • of that list.

  • Now doesn't that sound like the

  • Oakland Athletics last season

  • going into the season most of

  • their starters were hurt a lot

  • of question marks when it came

  • to the rotation yes they had

  • Sean Renard early on before he

  • got hurt.

  • But this is a guy that.

  • This is a team right now that

  • has to try to figure out.

  • How they can.

  • Bridgette.

  • Speaker 2: Brett Anderson's had

  • a hard time staying healthy

  • Frankie montages really doesn't

  • have much experience at all.

  • Annika rip that won a pair of

  • ball inside the foul line toward

  • the corner.