Okajima revived his status as a useful reliever with the Japan champion Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters this season. Okajima provided clutch pitching against Japan's toughest hitter to secure the Fighters' Japan Series title.
In doing some quick searching around, I found some reports about the Japan Series which provide more detail on his performance. The player referred to as "Japan's toughest hitter" is Kosuke Fukudome, a lefthanded-hitting outfielder who was a member of Japan's WBC team, and who finished the year with a .438 OBP, .653 SLG, 1.091 OPS. Here's a rundown of Okajima's performance in the series:Game 1
Okajima enters with one out in the eighth, a runner at second, and a 4-2 deficit. He walks the first batter, has the next batter sacrifice the runners over (?), and gets a fly-out to end the inning.Game 3
Okajima enters with two outs in the eighth, nobody one, Fukudome at the plate, and a 3-1 lead. He strikes out Fukudome on 3 pitches to end the inning.Game 4
Okajima enters with nobody out in the seventh, runners at first and second, Fukudome at the plate, and a 3-0 lead. He again strikes out Fukudome on 3 pitches, gets a come-backer for a force-out at first, walks the next batter, then gets a 3-1 ground-out to end the inning. In the eighth, he gets two ground-outs and a strikeout.Game 5
Okajima enters with one out in the eighth, a runner at first, and a 3-1 lead. He gets the batter to ground to first for a 3-6 force out/tag out DP to end the inning.
Final stats for the series:
IP H R ER BB K ERA
3.2 0 0 0 2 3 0.00
All in all, a pretty impressive performance. Get it done, Theo!