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 hasnâ€™t been all fun and games, at least according to the pitcher himself.
â€śItâ€™s been very unsatisfying,â€ť said Okajima through interpreter Jeff Cutler when asked how he would quantify the season to date. â€śI havenâ€™t been able to enjoy baseball the way I would like to.â€ť
Asked if not pitching in Boston was the reason why, Okajima alluded heâ€™s 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.
â€śItâ€™s not because Iâ€™m in the minors, nor does it have anything to do with not being in the majors,â€ť Okajima said. â€śI try not to think about (whatâ€™s bothering me) so Iâ€™ll leave it at that.â€ť
Would a strong finish coupled by a return trip to Boston help change the way Okajima views the season? â€śMainly Iâ€™m just focusing on myself and keeping myself healthy and pitching well.â€ť
Given that the July 31st non-waiver deadline is quickly approaching, has Okajima voiced to Boston his desire to be traded? â€śIâ€™m not thinking about that right now. Iâ€™m just focused on myself and make sure I stay healthy and pitch well, wherever I am.â€ť