Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) of the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese professional baseball team and Rocky Sasaki (22) of the Chiba Lotte Marines are the main players in Japan winning the WBC (World Baseball Classic). Along with Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) and Yu Darvish (37, San Diego Padres), he pitched as a starting pitcher in the first round of the WBC. Ohtani, Darvish, Sasaki, and Yamamoto started in the order of China, Korea, Czech Republic, and Australia. It was a starting rotation that showed the status of Sasaki and Yamamoto.
The two started side by side in the quarterfinals against Mexico, and went out as long relief. Sasaki gave up 3 runs in 4 innings, and Yamamoto, who inherited the mound, gave up 2 runs in 3⅓ innings. Bullpen specialist Atsuki Yuasa (24, Hanshin Tigers) missed the stepping stone for a come-from-behind victory with a scoreless pitch in ⅔ innings and Ota Taisei (24, Yomiuri Giants) pitched one scoreless inning. At the end of the ninth inning, which was trailing 4-5, Murakami Munetaka (23, Yakult Swallows) hit a double to end the comeback. The best pitching players in the Japanese domestic league produced a come-from-behind drama.
Yamamoto and Sasaki, who contributed to the WBC championship with their main selections, were in contrast at the beginning of the season. Until last year, Yamamoto was ‘one-top’, but this year is a different trend.
Yamamoto started the match against Seibu Lions held at Kyocera Dome in Osaka on the 22nd. He suffered his second loss in the third game of the season. He had 11 hits, his most in a single game, and allowed 3 runs until one out in the 8th inning. He hit three consecutive hits to Seibu’s center batting line in the eighth inning, leading 2-1. He gave up back-to-back hits to lead batter Shuta Tonosaki in third, Takeya Nakamura in fourth, and David McKinnon in fifth, giving up two runs.
Yamamoto sent out a runner in every inning except for the 6th inning that day. Compared to the previous game, I did not pitch overwhelmingly, but I led it well with one run until the 7th inning. He threw a powerful ball in the 5th inning from one out to the 6th inning, where he struck out 5 batters in a row without swinging. His top speed was 156 km/h. But until the end
I couldn’t stand it
In an interview after the game, he said, “The pitching balance was bad.”
7⅓ innings, 11 hits, 8 strikeouts, 3 runs, 112 pitches. It is the second consecutive loss after becoming a losing pitcher in the match against Sasaki on the 14th. On the 14th against Chiba Lotte, Sasaki gave up no run with 1 hit and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings, and Yamamoto gave up 5 hits, 9 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings. Orix suffered a 0-2 annual loss due to Sasaki’s reverse fight despite Yamamoto’s good fight. Sasaki won.
The two returned from the WBC team and took time to recharge before making their first appearance. On the 6th, they played their first game side by side and became the winning pitcher with 6 scoreless innings. Sasaki had 1 hit and 11 strikeouts in 6 innings against the Nippon Ham Fighters, and Yamamoto had 2 hits and 6 strikeouts in 6 innings against the Softbank Hawks. 토토사이트
Yamamoto recorded 1 win, 2 losses and an average ERA of 1.86 in 3 games until the 22nd. This year, he showed a performance worthy of his status as the best pitcher.
But Sasaki’s pace is really good. Since the opening game, he has won three games in a row with no runs in 20 consecutive innings. The average ERA is ‘0’. He struck out 30 with no four walks. He has a batting average of 8.1 and a WHIP of .40. On the 21st, against Softbank, he threw 164 km/h, his highest tie record, in the 7th inning. He delivered near-perfect performances in every game.
Yamamoto is the best pitcher in 2021-2022. For the second year in a row, he won four Pacific League wins, earned run average, strikeouts, and winning percentage. He won the League MVP and Sawamura Award for the second consecutive year. Last year, he went 15-5 with a 1.68 ERA, 205 strikeouts, and no hits. Sasaki, who achieved a perfect game against Orix, recorded 9-4-2.02-173 strikeouts.
This year, Sasaki is stronger than Yamamoto. Major league clubs are keeping an eye on the two players.