米大リーグで6月、マリナーズの菊池雄星投手(28)とエンゼルス大谷翔平選手(25)の県人メジャー初対決が実現しました。大谷選手は先発菊池投手からソロ本塁打を放つなど、初対決は3打数2安打1打点でした。2人の戦いは始まったばかり。今後の勝負に期待が高まります。英語で読んでみましょう。

米大リーグで初対戦したマリナーズの菊池雄星投手(左)とエンゼルスの大谷翔平選手

Matchup of players from Iwate:

Dream show begins

 A new page was added to the history of Iwate as two major league players from the prefecture played against each other for the first time. Yusei Kikuchi of the Seattle Mariners pitched against Shohei Ohtani , of  the  Los Angeles Angels , who both  attended  Hanamaki  Higashi  High School,atAngelStadiuminAnaheim,California,on June 8 (June 9 Japan time) . They faced off three  times during the game and the audience got excited about every pitch and swing of the bat.

 Batting third  in the  starting  lineup as a designated hitter, Ohtani stole the show by going 2-for-3 with a solo home run and an RBI against  Seattle starter Kikuchi . Kikuchi , who also saw histeamgiveuparun followinganinfielderror , suffered his fourth loss(against three wins)  .

 “ Whether you hit a home run or not , or retired a batter or not , doesn't really matter " Ohtani said with feeling. “ It was great that we were able to play against each other on this stage ".Kikuchi  , meanwhile , said he has to “ work very hard in every game right now."

 “ I hope the day will come when I can enjoy playing after improving my pitching skills ," he said as he tried not to show his frustration while looking forward to his growth on the mound.

 Both of them do their best on the field with hometown children always on their minds . “ I had always been looking forward to meeting him in a game," Ohtani said of Kikuchi . “ I  was guessing  children  playing baseball  in Iwate Prefecture  might be having fun watching (us play)anditwasgoodinthatsense ,"Ohtani said , speaking about the special feeling he had when he batted against his “ senpai "  fellow former player (at Hanamaki Higashi High School) .

 It was just the beginning of their matchups . Stories of the Iwate natives would likely be passed on to future generations.


岩手対決、夢の開演

 岩手の歴史に「県人メジャーリーガー初対決」の一ページが刻まれた。米大リーグ、マリナーズの菊池雄星とエンゼルスの大谷翔平=ともに花巻東高=が6月8日(日本時間9日)、アナハイムのエンゼルスタジアムで対戦した。直接対決の3打席。観客は一投一打に酔いしれた。

 「3番・指名打者」で出場した大谷は先発した菊池に対し、ソロ本塁打を放つなど3打数2安打1打点と活躍した。菊池は内野守備のミスも絡み、4敗目(3勝)を喫した。

 大谷は「ホームランを打った打てなかった、抑えた抑えられなかったではない。この舞台で対戦することができたことがすごく大きかった」と実感を込めた。菊池は「今は毎試合が必死。レベルアップした先で楽しめる時が来ればいい」と悔しさをこらえながら成長を誓った。

 2人はいつも古里の子どもたちを思いながら、全力プレーを続ける。大谷は「対戦は楽しみだったし、岩手県で野球をやっている子どもたちも楽しみに見てくれているかもしれないので、そういう意味では良かった」と先輩との対戦で抱いた特別な感情を語った。

 まだ戦いは始まったばかり。岩手生まれの2人が紡ぐ物語は後世に語り継がれていく。