Takahashi and Matsui give Japanese reporters good local angle
The large Japanese media contingent following Oakland designated hitter Hideki Matsui during a three-game series at Angel Stadium had something interesting to write about Wednesday.
For the first time, Angels reliever Hisanori Takahashi and Matsui, Yomiuri Giants teammates for three years, faced each other in a game that counted.
Takahashi had faced Matsui eight times in exhibition games over the years, giving up five hits, four of them home runs, in eight at-bats, but Takahashi got Matsui to fly out to left field to end the eighth inning Wednesday. The A's won, 2-1, in 10 innings.
"Sometimes it's difficult to see a pitcher with a familiar face," Matsui said. "He had good pitches today, and my bat was a little late."
Photo: Angels reliever Hisanori Takahashi delivers a pitch to Oakland's Hideki Matsui in the eighth inning Wednesday at Angel Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press