Just read the chapter translated by TDX. My/our thougts have kinda been a rollercoaster on it. I first just watched the raws without knowing what was being talked about, and, from the pictures, I liked the posture of Sawamura. Then I read the translation by GodamfireV and kinda didn't liked the interaction, to be honest... now re-reading it, well, I guess it's okay.
My view is that it serves two purposes.
1), so Sawamura clearly states that he wants to beat him at his best, hence the long innings and the talk with Okumura.
2), and I think that's the reason for the flashback with the ones playing in these games, the roster announcement date and Furuya answer (that Sawamura is playing the third day): Sawamura warns him to bring his best, so no one has to come clean his mess, and potentially hurt his own expectations if things also went bad from there. I mean, if Furuya self-destructs again in 4/5th inning and Sawamura/Nori/Kawashima/Kaneda/Toujou has to come in, with the team losing, with runners on base, the flow destructed... someone probably would also took a toll, with more runs conceded, and that person would also look bad regarding the roster options. It would also hurt the plan for this three days, as if for example Sawamura had to come in the thr 4/5th inning, perhaps he wouldn't be able to go all out/play all the game against Seihou.
In a way, I think it's like a Ace-like (or even Captain) feature from Sawamura, to warn Furuya to don't mess up and potentially hurt the ones. And I'm also okay with that. No one seems to have the balls to say anything serious to Furuya (lol to be honest, I remember Miyuki one or two times at the beginning, with hard words that even shocked the rest of the infielders, but not much too after that; specially since Act II...), so, Sawamura takes care of that. Since Miyuki doesn't say it, or Kuramochi, or Zono, or Ono, or Haruichi, even Kataoka that doesn't say it completely hard like to Tanba and Masuko... it's like a reality-check from the one person that isn't brain-damaged on this team.
3) But on the other hand... even if those two aspects have some logic...
...I mean, what's really the need, from Sawamura point of view? This team is bullshit, of course one of them would reply to him the way Kuramochi did.
Second, I mean, what's the need to warm? Furuya wants to continue the same player he was from the beginning, practically? He doesn't awake from his shell of number one in Japan and etc? He wants to self-destruct and etc? lol just let him. I understand the if that happens, everyone would say that he's still not healed, maybe someone would also look bad from it, even if Sawamura gets the Ace number, the comments like "you got lucky that Furuya wasn't still at his best" and such, even from teammates... so, why all the concerns with that?
Third, why all the need to sugar-talk Furuya to bring him into his game? It happened before against Ugumori team, that Furuya was self-destructing and Sawamura had to intervene. In Senbatsu I have the idea that it also happened, but can't be sure about it. Now the pep-talk so he's at his best... I mean, why the f*ck lol? They're rivals (I miss the Sawamura that said that he didn't even wanted to see the games, because he wouldn't be able to honestly cheer for their success... that's so real...), Furuya is already a grown man, Sawamura isn't his senpai or his older brother to lift him. The man never even say something to lift Sawamura on the other way lol; on the contrary, is always "I'm the Ace, you watch from the bench", takes his spot when talking to Miyuki in the freaking lunch lol, uses his status to train with Miyuki at the front of the other tammates... In a real world, no way this guys would be the so called best-friend kinda rivals. Another bullshit construction by Terajima.
And he doesn't learn and wants to play that way, eventually giving those results, just let him, better for you...
And also from the point of view of Terajima... well, another highly convenient interaction for the drama and the bullshit build up of Furuya. In Spring he crumbles, then takes an injury, then magically learns to control the fastball to outside, then makes a decent comeback, during trainings always shines, and now is ready to play into long innings. This injury, recuperation and growing is so bullshit; specially because it didn't even have character development to follow it, it's still the same shitty character. And perhaps more than that, I'm guessing that Furuya will actually look very well in this game, to ciment his status in the team and his definitive comeback right at the end of the pre-season; and Sawamura, on the other way, that in the last couple of months has been showing more concern about his own status, the evolution of reliever-status to Ace, a challenge to other Ace pitchers... well, here we are again, Furuya again. F*ck that. With the results and pitching he's been showing, he should only be concerned about his pitching, his games, his stats, how to grow even more and how to be the best Ace there is comparing with the rivals from other schools. Why always this weight in the back called Furuya?
Oh, and of course. Let's just clarify once again that Furuya is awesome. Just to be sure that no one forgot that. Hey, he has heat in his fastball (although he can't control it, besides no decent breaking balls) and has aura and sh*t. He's amazing, once in a generation.
Would be far, far, far more interesting to see Sawamura at least watching the Tokyo-USA game (gotta love the connection between Imai and Furuya; unstable control, but fast and lively pitchers, "invincible" when it goes low... let's just state that once again; and of course, fielders saving his ass) and feel the need to compete with these type of guys. Awesome wasn't that pitching from the american guy? Regarding those type of power-pitchers, there sure as hell are better ones that Furuya. Why all the obsession?
At least there was Mei to save the day. Awesome face and posture, like always when it gets serious. That's what top-notch players react when the feel the competition; but a real competition. They don't get all goofy, loudy, etc, or even cheerful, impressed by that competition. They get silent, focus, hot from inside and heart pounding, starting to get crazy about it: "no way this f*cker is better than me", "once they give me the opportunity, I'll show you who I am", "don't forget I'm still here". Mei also tends to be loud, childful and etc, but this is why he's one of the best characters. He also suffered dissabours in the past, evolved from it, and has a tremendous competition spirit. And the qualities to support that. He can be goofy and loud off-games, but when he starts to pitch, in pinch moments, or when people forget who he is... he won't say a word. He gets all serious, all focused, all silent to himself, and then shows who he is. No doubt he will (or should, in a logic manga...) also wipe the floor of the americans when he plays, like this new guy is doing to Tokyo. So he states himself.
And that's why one of the best moments, if not the very best moment of Sawamura, was the freaking Ichidai game. He was serious than ever, focused than ever. Didn't even wanted to talk to Miyuki or Kataoka, much less Furuya. Much less pep talk to lift Furuya. He's the Ace, has all the status and benefits from that, public and teammates love him and his pitching, there's a crazy status quo by the coach and the main catcher, I'm playing much better than him... and he's the Ace, the one will all the attention? The guy pitching like sh*t right there? No way.
Of course in that day didn't talked, and wasn't the goofy loud one. Was pissed, and wanted to state himself, like Mei sure as hell would also do, and also feel the exact same way. That's the evolution that Sawamura should be having: to Mei-type of pissed and competitive with the real guns and when things get serious or I need to state myself; not this loop of having to take constant care of Furuya, because he's a 10yo children mentality-wise that needs everyone to give them their support. I thought that was already in the past, or at least should had been...
Sorry for the long rant. This manga provokes me feelings that I don't have in any other manga, and that I didn't even knew I could have with a simple series. The development plus characters in Seidou overall is simply outrageous; specially when he have one of the best characters in terms of development ever, right in the middle of things.