PAWTUCKET -- Hideki Okajima tossed two spotless innings Monday, his first appearance since July 8. The lefty lowered his ERA to 1.47 in 21 appearances, yet it hasnât been all fun and games, at least according to the pitcher himself.
âItâs been very unsatisfying,â said Okajima through interpreter Jeff Cutler when asked how he would quantify the season to date. âI havenât been able to enjoy baseball the way I would like to.â
Asked if not pitching in Boston was the reason why, Okajima alluded heâs been hindered by some minor injuries. According to Beyeler, Okajima recently had a tooth pulled. On the same visit he also underwent a root canal.
âItâs not because Iâm in the minors, nor does it have anything to do with not being in the majors,â Okajima said. âI try not to think about (whatâs bothering me) so Iâll leave it at that.â
Would a strong finish coupled by a return trip to Boston help change the way Okajima views the season? âMainly Iâm just focusing on myself and keeping myself healthy and pitching well.â
Given that the July 31st non-waiver deadline is quickly approaching, has Okajima voiced to Boston his desire to be traded? âIâm not thinking about that right now. Iâm just focused on myself and make sure I stay healthy and pitch well, wherever I am.â