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Japanese-American Perspectives

Major Season 5 ep 15 / includes full summary

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
The 15th episode just finished.

Miho and Toshiya speak over the phone and Toshiya asks Miho to stay and watch. The game between Cuba and Japan begins. Japan is surprised at Cuba's speed on the basepaths; and Cuba's starting pitcher shows a bunch of breaking pitches that even Kyoshiro has a hard time tracking with his eyes.

Goro later enters the game in relief and spots Joe Gibson in the stands. Gibson Jr appears and vows to keep his father from pitching at the World Cup. But why?

* SPOILERS AHEAD *


The episode begins with the last few moments of the previous episode.

Opening credits.

===============================

A shot of Detco Park from the outside (obviously, a play on Petco Park), then cut to All Japan players on the field stretching.

Momoko: Goro!

Goro turns around and sees his mother waving at him from the stands; Shingo is next to her playing a video game.

Momoko: Goro! <getting frustrated by a lack of response> Hey Goro, at least wave your hand to us! Hey, are you even listening?!

Goro looks annoyed.

Matsumura: Hey Shigeno, isn't that your mother? <all the while Momoko continues to shout at the top of her lungs>

Goro: Ugh. What a pain.

Goro finally gets up and walks over to where they are standing.

Goro: I'm in the middle of getting ready and it's before game time. It's embarrassing so please stop!

Momoko: Good luck and do your best! And if you do really well, I'll make your favorite curry for you!

Goro turns white with shock.

Goro (voice-over): She's not listening. And how old does she think I am?

Goro: Yeah, well, if I play, I'll do my best.

Just as Goro is about to turn away to get back to stretching...

Momoko: Goro! <she holds up a picture of Goro's real father> I've brought your father with me to so do your best.

Goro: Well, with father around, we certainly can't lose before getting a chance to play against America.

Toshiya: We won't lose.

Goro: Toshi!

Toshiya: To Cuba or to America.

===============================

The game between Cuba and Japan is about the start.

Coach: Cuba's starting pitcher is Bravo.

Sasaki: They're going with someone we weren't even expecting.

Shigeno: Looks like his out pitch is his curve. But since this is his first start, we don't really have much on him. We won't really know anything until we see him pitch.

Goro: He's a lefty and this is his first appearance.

Mayumura: Since our team is full of lefties, this isn't really a good match-up.

Home Plate Ump: Play ball!

Kyoshiro is in the batter's box.


Kyoshiro steps in...

Bravo winds and fires...

The ball has a tight curve as it crosses the plate.

Home Plate Ump: Strike!

Domoto: A curve that's about as fast as a slider...

Itao: Looks like there's quite a bit of movement as it gets closer to the batter.

Bravo winds and fires...

...The ball takes a big curve as it crosses the plate.

Home Plate Ump: Strike!

Mayumura: That was a big breaking curve.

Toshiya: Two types of curves.

Bravo winds and fires...

The ball comes in a bit high...

Kyoshiro (voice-over): It's the same curve...

...but the bottom suddenly drops out.

Home Plate Ump: Struck out!

Kyoshiro and the players in the All Japan dugout are shocked.

Goro: Was that a curve too!? That just dropped vertically.

Toshiya: For Kyoshiro not to swing at a single pitch and strike out looking...

Bravo retires the side with strike outs.

A diagram appears showing the course of Bravo's curve balls.

Shigeno (voice-over describing the diagram): He has a small curve that comes in from the side. He also has a big breaking curve. And then that curve where the bottom just drops out. He can change speeds on each of those pitches AND has great control of them.

Sasaki: Looks like we might have a tough time hitting the ball.

Sugiura is warming up on the mound.

Toshiya (voice-over): Sugiura-san has good velocity on his fastball and it looks like he's got good control of his off-speed pitches. As long as I do a good job leading him, I think we've got a chance.

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 8, Maiden (sp?).

Maiden steps into the box. Sugiura winds and fires... Maiden squares around to bunt. Toshiya is caught off guard!

Toshiya: Third!

Yamazaki charges the ball, bare-hands it, throws over to first...

First Base Ump: Safe, safe!

Goro: That guys fast!

Shigeno: Bunting on the very first pitch!?

Sasaki: They're taking advantage of their speed right from the start.

Toshiya (voice-over): ...and I was being careful...

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 6, Espinosa.

Sugiura throws over to first to check the runner.

Shigeno: That's the way! We started the lefty Sugiura to make it harder for Cuba to steal.

Goro: If you think you can run, go ahead and try. Toshi's behind the plate and he'll just gun you down.

Sugiura winds and fires... Maiden takes off!

Espinosa bunts back to the pitcher. Sugiura throws over to first...

First Base Ump: Out!

Shigeno: They're playing it by the book.

Sasaki: With the lefty Sugiura on the mound and the strong-armed Sato behind the plate... They must have decided stealing would be too risky.

PA Announcer: Now batting, number 7, Guevara.

Toshiya: Lefty pitchers have an advantage with runners on first, but with runners on second, that becomes a disadvantage. I've got to be on the look-out for a steal of third.

Sugiura steps off the rubber and looks toward second.

Shigeno: That's it! Good job out there guys.

Cuba's Manager (voice-over): Doing that isn't going to help you one bit. Other teams look down at us because we lack power and size and rely on speed. But that's their mistake. We take advantage of our speed in order to get on the offensive. <Maiden takes off for third> Our game is aggressive baseball!

Goro: He's trying to steal third!

Sugiura fires... Guevara swings and misses. Toshiya gets up to throw over to third, but Guevara's arm is in the way.


Guevara's back swing is in the way!

Toshiya takes a step back and rockets one to third. ...but it pulls Yamazaki off the bag and Maiden slides in safely.

Toshiya glares over at Guevara.

Sasaki runs over to the home plate ump.

Sasaki: Ump! Isn't that interference!?

Home Plate Ump: No, it's within the bounds of a regular swing so it's allowed. I can't call interference on it.

Sasaki: ...But!

Kyoshiro (voice-over): Aggressive base-running. Protecting a runner with a swing that's barely legal.

Itao (voice-over): Looks like it's something Cuba has been practicing.

Cuba's Manager: Japan and America are just teams with a medley of professional players. We'll show them that Cuban amateurs, as a team, are the best in the world.

Shigeno: Just one more. At worst case, we give up a run.

Cuba's Manager touches the bill of his cap and grins.

Cuba's Manager (voice-over): Don't even give them a chance to take a breather...

Sugiura winds...

Maiden takes off from third!

...and fires...

Goro: It's a squeeze play!

Guevara bunts the ball towards the pitcher.

Cuba's Manager: This is Cuban baseball!

Sugiura charges, he reaches out for the ball with his glove-hand but just misses it. Maiden slides into home safely.

Yamazaki picks up the ball and looks over to first, but it's too late.

Toshiya (voice-over): They got us. Who would think the number 3 batter would bunt on the first pitch?!

Cuba celebrates the run in their dugout.

Momoko: Oh no, they scored a run. <looks over at Shingo playing his video game> Shingo, why aren't you watching the game? We came all the way to America to see this.

Shingo: No way. I came for the amusement park. I didn't come to watch baseball.

Momoko looks hurt and surprised by Shingo's answer.

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 3, Lima.

Sugiura (voice-over): I've got to try and keep this from getting out of hand.

He winds...

Guevara is off an running!

...and fires...

Goro: Not again!

Toshiya gets the ball and stands up to throw over to second, but it's too late.

Mayumura: Looks like Cuba has got Sugiura's timing down.

Cuba's manager (looking satisfied): We've analyzed all the pitchers for Japan... Left, right... It doesn't matter, none of our runners are afraid.

Toshiya (voice-over): Damn it! What a disgrace. To be made fun of like this with their speed...

Domoto (shouting from the dugout): Settle down out there guys! Take a deep breath and get back on the same page!

Toshiya hears Domoto and looks over at him.

Domoto (shouting from the dugout): Don't let them dictate the flow of the game!

Toshiya: Domoto-san...

Domoto (shouting from the dugout): Sato! Catcher's don't have time to be depressed! If that's the way you wanna be, I'll get my gear on you fool!

Toshiya: Domoto-san...

Toshiya gets his head back into the game.

Home Plate Umpire: Play!

Toshiya (voice-over): Calm down. It's still just a 1-run lead.

Sugiura steps off, spins, and fires to second to keep the runner honest.

Cuba's Manager: That catcher Sato is in for the injured Domoto. But he's still young... He may be good with the bat, but he lacks experience behind the plate. Let's take advantage of that weakness and crush his confidence.

Guevara is off...

Toshiya looks over and sees him running.

Goro: They're stealing again!

Lima takes a big swing and Toshiya's path is blocked again. But this time he steps out in front...

Toshiya: Don't think I'll let you guys get away with it again!

...and fires a throw to third.

Third Base Ump: Out!

Domoto: Toshiya just stepped out in front and threw the ball from the side... No one makes that play unless they have confidence in their arm. But I expect no less from my replacement!

Various shots of the crowd cheering. ...And then a shot of Miho watching the game nervously.

Still shots of the game moving along: All Japan batters striking out, Cuba's hitters striking out, All Japan batters grounding out, Cuba running the basepaths, Toshiya throwing out a runner at second...

Miho is watching the game from behind a waist-high wall. Kaoru approaches and hands her a drink.

Miho: Thank you.

Kaoru: Are you ok watching the game from this far away?

Miho: Yes. I don't want to risk the chance of being spotted by my brother -- I don't want to cause him any trouble.

Flashback sequence of the phone call from Toshiya.

Toshiya (through the phone): Is this Miho?

Miho: Brother?

Kaoru walks into the room from the bathroom (she was taking a shower), drying her hair with a towel.

Miho: I'm sorry about yesterday, I...

Toshiya: It's ok. You did nothing wrong. I'm the one who should be sorry.

Toshiya's hotel room.

Toshiya: I'd like to meet you and talk about stuff. But just as you're worried... <Goro is leaning up against a wall, listening> ...there's no guarantee I won't have another attack if I meet you. It's too bad, but right now, I don't have time to face my personal traumas, I need to focus all I have on baseball.

Miho's hotel room.

Toshiya: But if you can, I'd still like for you to come and watch the game. <back in the present, Sugiuchi winds and deals> You don't have to cheer out loud. <Maiden swings and pops one up behind the plate> You can even watch from far away. But if I know my sister is in the stands, I think I'll be able to do better than I've done in the past! <Toshiya dives for the ball and holds on to it for the out>

Miho: Toshiya (big brother)...

===============================

A pan of the scoreboard reveals that Cuba still has a 1-0 lead over Japan in the top of the 7th.

Coach: We've only managed to scatter two hits up to now.

Shigeno: That run in the first inning looms really large now.

Sasaki: To be honest, I'm not sure if the lefty batters will be able to break through against this pitcher. But the righties seem to be getting a better read on the pitches. After Itao, we have some righties due up. We might have a chance this inning.

Itao grounds out to third.

Goro: Damn it! Our timings all off.

Cuba's Manager: Looks like his curve still has a lot of movement. I think this'll be a complete game... No, a complete game shut-out.

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 8, Nishimura.

Toshiya stands in the batter's box and watches Nishimura dig in.

Toshiya (voice-over): It's Nishimura-san and then me. We (the righty batters) need to try and get something going this inning.

Bravo winds and fires... Nishimura makes contact and skies the ball...

Kaoru: Drop! Drooop!

The ball drops in for a single.

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 24, Sato.

A shot of Miho with her hands clasped in front of her face.


Miho is hoping for the best...

Toshiya (voice-over): A 1-run difference. 1 out with a runner on first...

Bravo throws over to first to check the runner.

Toshiya (voice-over): ...It's the kind of situation where you expect movement on the bases... And that means he probably won't be throwing that big curve of his. And that means I need to look for a fastball... <Bravo winds and fires> ...or this curve that moves like a slider...

Toshiya makes contact with the pitch and drives it. It splits the outfielders and rolls to the wall. Nishimura rounds third, but stops.

Goro: Yes! <looks over at first and sees Toshiya there> Toshi! Why are you still at first?! You should have had more than enough time to get to second!

Sasaki: Nope. Sato purposely stopped at first.

Goro: What?

Sasaki: With him on first, it'll be harder for Bravo to throw whatever he wants, making it easier for the next batter to guess what might be coming. All right! Send in a right-handed pinch hitter!

Sasaki is talking to the home plate ump to inform him of the pinch hitter.

PA Announcer: Attention please. Batting number 2, Domoto.

Cuba's Manager (in the dugout): So they're coming out to fight. Hold 'em down Bravo!

Coach: Skipper, should we tell Domoto to wait for the right pitch?

Sasaki: That won't be necessary. A catcher of his skills should know exactly what Sato's thinking.

Domoto: There's only one pitch he can throw in this situation...

Bravo winds and fires... Domoto swings and hits a fly ball. Nishimura tags up and scores.

Kaoru: They did it!

Miho: Yes!

Kaoru: Let's break through for the lead now!

The next batter lines out to end the inning.

A pan of the scoreboard. It's now the bottom of the 8th. The score is still tied at 1.

PA Announcer: Attention please. Pitcher number 25, Goro Shigeno.

Kaoru: All right! Go Honda!

Momoko: He's coming in to pitch! Goro, do your best!

Momoko looks over to Shingo sitting by her side. He's still playing his video game. She grabs it.

Momoko: Why do you think we're here!? Your brother is going to pitch. Cheer for your brother!

Shingo: What are you doing? Give it back to me!

Momoko: No!

Goro is on the mound kicking around the dirt in preparation to pitch. Toshiya stands next to him.

Toshiya: Goro-kun...

Goro: There's nothing to talk about. Let's shut them down and get to the finals Toshi!

Toshiya nods.

Home Plate Ump: Play!

Goro winds and and fires...

It's a grounder up the middle, Taniguchi dives, stands, turns, and is about to fire, but it's too late.

Momoko is caught up in watching the game; Shingo manages to get his video game back.

Momoko: Shingo!

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 8, Maiden.

Goro winds and fires... Outside for a ball.

The next pitch is inside for ball 2.

Kaoru: Honda!

Goro walks Maiden.

Goro: Damn it!

Shigeno (shouting from the dugout): What's wrong out there Goro!

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 6, Espinosa.

Toshiya (voice-over): Goro-kun, your control isn't very good right now. You haven't pitched in a few days, and I remember you saying that your shoulder was feeling light... Is that the reason?

A shot of Momoko and Shingo. Momoko is nervously watching the game. A close up shot of Shingo -- he looks up and for a brief moment and looks worried, he quickly reverts his eyes back to his game.

Home Plate Ump: Ball, ball 3!

Shigeno: Skipper!

Sasaki: Don't rush. This is where Goro usually turns it up a notch. He's just having a bit of a problem getting things going. But his pitches are becoming more lively.

Home Plate Ump: Strike!

Toshiya (voice-over): That's it.

Momoko: Shingo, I know you haven't been very happy about playing baseball lately. If you've really come to hate it, you can quit. Your father and I won't force you to play. ...But I think it's wrong of you not to cheer for your brother, who is out there trying his best. I think it's wrong if you can't be proud of your father and brother. <something clicks inside of Shingo, his eyes are wide open> I don't like the Shingo that's doing that.

Goro winds and fires. Espinosa bunts. Goro charges the ball.

Toshiya: Third base!

Goro bare-hands the ball and fires over to third...

Shingo gets up...


Shingo finally pays attention to what's going on...

Third Base Ump: Out!

Shingo looks over and sees Momoko looking at him with a smile. He blushes.

Shingo: Even if I cheer my brother on, it doesn't mean I'm going to keep playing baseball.

Shingo slowly sits back down.

Goro sets, winds, and fires...

Home Plate Ump: Strike!

Guevara: That was fast.

Toshiya (voice-over): I guess his arm and his emotions don't warm-up unless there are runners on base.

Goro winds and fires...

Guevara fouls the pitch back. As Goro's eye follows the path of the ball he recognizes someone in the stands.

...It's Joe Gibson.

Goro (voice-over): Gibson! Damn. If only I knew before letting Cuba get on base. Afterall, I don't want pitch poorly in front of him <Goro winds and fires> before the finals.

Guevara swings and misses.

Home Plate Ump: Struck out!

Toshiya pauses briefly... And then fires a rocket to second. Taniguchi puts down the tag.

Second Base Ump: Out!

Goro: Yes! Nice throw Toshi!

Momoko: That's it!

She looks over at Shingo and sees that he's playing his video game again. She let's out a sigh.

===============================

Joe Gibson watches the game. He hears someone approaching and looks over. It's his son.

Gibson: Junior. I heard that you'll be starting the game against Venezuela.

Junior: Yeah, Alex's knee is bothering him so I'll be taking over third for him and he'll be DH'ing. So I take it you're rooting for Japan.

Gibson: Of course. None of this matters unless they make it to the finals.

Junior: In that case, I'll be rooting for Cuba.

Gibson looks over at his son.

Nishimura hits a double.

Junior: If only Japan... If only Japan would lose, then you wouldn't pitch.

PA Announcer: Now hitting, number 24, Sato.

Junior: No... Even if Japan manages to win and we end up playing against them, I'll do whatever it takes to make sure you don't pitch.

Home Plate Ump: Strike!

Gibson: Are you still talking about that? Give it up. This is about a promise I made with Honda Jr. This is something I need to do. It's the last thing I need to attend to.

Junior: Give up!?

Junior pounds his fist on the glass wall.

Junior: Regardless of what kind of father you've been to me, you are my one and only father. And what child can stand by and watch his father risk his life by taking the mound?!

Sato serves one to right field, Nishimura rounds third and slides head-first into home.

Home Plate Ump: Safe!

The number 1 lights up underneath the 9 on the scoreboard.

Junior: Just have the operation dad! Please don't do it. Don't pitch against Japan in that kind of shape!

Fade to black.

End Credits.

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Updated 06-12-2009 at 04:42 AM by Gwynar

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