Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), who is about to enter the major league, added 11 strikeouts with a fast ball of ‘up to 159 km’, taking one step closer to setting an unprecedented record.

Yamamoto started the home match against the Nippon Ham Fighters of the 2023 Japanese Professional Baseball League held at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on the 2nd (Korean time) and pitched 112 pitches over 7 innings, allowing 3 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts, and no runs, earning his 16th of the season. I got my hands on the victory.

The pitching that day was a fairly important game for Yamamoto. Although he had already secured the regular season championship, it was a somewhat meaningful appearance for him personally. This is why Yamamoto, who plans to challenge for the Major League through the posting system at the end of this season, was able to create a record that may not be broken for decades before leaving the Japanese professional baseball stage.

Yamamoto appeared in 26 games in 2021 and achieved outstanding results with 206 strikeouts, 18 wins, 6 losses, and an average ERA of 1.39 while playing 193⅔ innings. At that time, Yamamoto won four Pacific League wins (18 wins), winning percentage (78.3%), strikeouts (206 K), and ERA (1.39), and won the regular season MVP and the Sawamura Award, given to the best pitcher. He rose to stardom.

The performance in 2021 was not sparkling. Yamamoto pitched 193 innings in 26 games, including his first no-hit and no run last year, striking out 205, and going 15-5 with an ERA of 1.68. As a result, he became the first pitcher in Japanese professional baseball history to win four awards for two consecutive years, as well as MVP and Sawamura Award. As he was trailing by one point behind Atsuki Taneichi (Chiba Lotte, 157K) in the strikeout category, his appearance on this day was an opportunity to set an ‘untouched’ record for three consecutive years.

Yamamoto’s pitching was overwhelming. Yamamoto started the game in the first inning with a double by leadoff hitter Chusei Mannami, but after tying up the follow-up hitter with a grounder to second baseman, he struck out both remaining outs and ended the game without giving up a run. And in the second inning, he faced the risk of giving up a second run by allowing a walk and a hit, but ended the inning without giving up a run thanks to a fast ball of 158 km.

Yamamoto struck out two in the third inning, recording his first three-out, and in the fourth inning, he continued his ‘iron wall’ pitching by turning off all of Nippon Ham’s main batting lineup with fly balls. He started the inning by giving up a hit to Kotaro Kiyomiya in the 5th inning, but ended the inning with a double play, and struck out two in the 6th and 3 outs in the 7th, earning a quality start+ (3 in 7 innings). (less than ERA) completed the pitch.

With today’s pitch, Yamamoto set a record that no one can surpass in his final season before leaving Japanese professional baseball. Yamamoto secured the title for most wins and ERA with 16 wins and an ERA of 1.21, and also maintained first place with a winning percentage of 0.727. And the strikeouts, which were the most interesting, added 11, recording 169 for the season, widening the gap with 2nd place Tanej to 12.

Multiple local media outlets, including Japan’s Nikkan Sports, reported that Yamamoto’s four wins for three consecutive years were “almost confirmed.” The only way to stop Yamamoto from winning four awards is to take away the top spot in strikeouts. Chiba Lotte still has 5 games left, and it is highly likely that Tainechi will take the mound once, so it is not ‘confirmed’. However, to surpass Yamamoto, he would need 13 strikeouts, which is not impossible but not easy.토토사이트

According to ‘Nikkan Sports’, Yamamoto said, “The pitch was good at the beginning of the game, but the number of pitches increased. However, the tempo improved from the middle, and I was able to pitch until the 7th inning while reducing the number of pitches,” and won 4 awards with 11 strikeouts. Regarding his rise to prominence, he said with a smile, “I threw following Wakatsuki (catcher) senior’s lead. It was a nice lead from Wakatsuki senior. I was able to maintain good condition all year long, thanks to the management of Manager Nakajima and the pitching coaches.”

Even though it was the opposing team, coach Tsuyoshi Shinjo also gave a thumbs up to Yamamoto’s pitching. According to ‘Daily Sports’, Manager Shinzo laughed and said, “Yamamoto pitched all year long and recorded an ERA of 1.21. And the forkball was 149 km, which is the fastball speed of our pitchers.” He added, “I don’t know what choice he will make, but I will enjoy the information.” He did not leave out a message of support for advancing to the major league, saying, “I hope you will wait for me.”

With Orix currently winning the Pacific League regular season championship trophy, Yamamoto’s MVP chances have greatly increased. And if there are no special variables, winning four awards is almost certain. If he wins the Sawamura Award, he will likely enter the major leagues after setting a record that will not be broken for the next several decades. What kind of club and how big a contract will Yamamoto receive? It is expected to be one of the fun elements of watching Stove League.

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