Sho Nakata Who has V-Shaped Recovery in Performance of the Giants said “Manager Hara’s Appalling Usage Methods Cause Concern” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sho Nakata Who has V-Shaped Recovery in Performance of the Giants said “Manager Hara’s Appalling Usage Methods Cause Concern”

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Last season, the bench was often seen troubled, but this season Nakata has many smiles on his face (Image: Kyodo News)

The Giants’ Sho Nakata (33) is on a roll.

On July 19, he hit .373 with five homers in a game against Yakult. On July 19 against Yakult, he hit .373 with five homers. In the first half of the season, he hit .271 with 12 homers, far better than his .177 average with seven homers last season.

Until June, Nakata was often used as a substitute batter, as he sometimes failed to make the starting lineup. Nakata is the type of player who stands in the batter’s box four or five times in each game to get a feel for the game and get into a rhythm. It is difficult to get results when he is a substitute hitter. Manager Tatsunori Hara must have understood these characteristics of Nakata. As he was used as a starter more often, his results improved.

The batting order, No. 6, also seems to suit Nakata. When he first moved from Nippon Ham last year, he was often used in the cleanup lineup, but his batting was somewhat “out of place. He seemed to be too conscious of his position as the mainstay of the Giants and lost sight of his original batting. Perhaps his shoulders have relaxed now that he is a little lower in the batting order, and he is swinging the bat as hard as he can.

He was inspired, saying, “I’ve got to do it.”

The condition of the other mainstay hitters also seems to have had an effect on Nakata’s mindset.

Team leader Hayato Sakamoto is out with back pain. Kazuma Okamoto, the team’s main gunner, has been sluggish, with a batting average in the low .200s. Nakata must be feeling that ‘I have to do it. On the other hand, I think Nakata may be feeling a little more relaxed because of the poor performance of his mainstay players. Last season, when all the batters around him were doing well, only one of them was sluggish with a batting average in the 10% range, and his mind was running on empty. This season, on the contrary, everyone around me is slumping and I am doing well. I am sure that his mental stress is considerably less.

The Giants finished the first half of the season in fifth place, with their debt ballooning to five games. Nakata is one of the few players on the slumping team who has been able to get his head out of his ass. However, there is an element of uneasiness.

He has been one of the few players on the slumping Giants team to show some signs of life, but there are some concerns. There is no doubt that manager Hara is frustrated with Okamoto, his main gunner, who has been giving up on many occasions when he has a chance. If his slump continues, his patience will reach its limit. It is conceivable that Nakata, who has been performing well, could be selected to replace Okamoto at No. 4.

However, Nakata is able to relax and hit well because he is batting sixth in the batting order, and if he becomes No. 4, there is a strong possibility that he will be too conscious of his performance, as he was last season. Nakata is actually a very sensitive player, unlike his bold image. He may shrink away from the heavy responsibility of being the Giants’ No. 4.

(Sports reporter) Will Nakata’s own good performance and the poor performance of those around him prove to be a detriment to him? Nakata’s performance in the second half of the season will likely differ greatly depending on how manager Hara uses him.

  • Photo: Kyodo News Kyodo News

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