SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Informed that Dodgers reliever Jose Dominguez was clocked at 103 mph last year, Kansas City Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki considered himself fortunate.
A fifth-inning fastball by Dominguez that struck Aoki on his right leg Tuesday traveled at only 97 mph.
“So he was slow today,” Aoki said in Japanese. “I’m glad.”
Aoki laughed as he recalled standing in right field as he watched Dominguez warm up in the bullpen.
“He looked like he had bad control,” Aoki said. “I had a feeling I might get hit.”
Aoki screamed the Japanese equivalent of “Ouch!” before the pitch even hit him.
“He was throwing pitches that looked as if they would hurt,” Aoki said.
Aoki was promptly removed from the game as a precaution, but he said he was OK.