Up to 163km fastball and 149km high-speed forkball.
Rocky Sasaki (22, Chiba Lotte Marines), the “monster pitcher,” won a match against Yamamoto Yoshinobu (25, Orix Buffaloes), who is considered the best active pitcher in Japanese professional baseball, throwing a ball on a different level.
Sasaki started the home game against Orix on the 14th and led Chiba Lotte to a 2-0 victory with 7 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts and no runs. Sasaki, who won two games in a row following his first appearance of the season, continued his ERA of 0.00 with 13 scoreless innings.
The opponent selected on this day was Yamamoto, who collaborated with Japan to win the World Baseball Classic (WBC). He is the best pitcher in Japan who has won the Sawamura Award for the past two years in a row. Yamamoto also threw 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts and 1 run, but lost by decision to Sasaki, who was stronger than ever.
Sasaki struck out as many as 10 up to the 4th inning. He dealt with 15 batters until the 5th inning and calmed the Orix lineup with perfect pitches. In the 6th inning, the first walk and hit were allowed, and both perfect and no-hitter were broken, but the crisis with 1 company, 2nd and 3rd base was overcome without a run. Yamamoto went down at the end of the 6th inning, but Sasaki, who got on the mound in the 7th inning with 90 pitches, completed 7 innings with a total of 105 pitches.
Not only the 163km fastball, but also the main weapon forkball reached 149km. Out of 11 strikeouts, 9 of them were forkballs. A forkball that drips near the strike zone is a hard tool to hit even if you know it. The slider he learned from Yu Darvish (San Diego) in the WBC national team was also occasionally mixed and thrown, stealing misses.
According to Japanese media such as ‘Daily Sports’, after the match, Sasaki said about the match with Yamamoto, “I was together at WBC,먹튀검증 but he is a good senior. It was great to have the opportunity to throw against each other like this. It was a game I really wanted to win, so I threw it with concentration. I threw with the thought that if I lost even one point, I couldn’t win.”
Yamamoto, who suffered his first loss of the season despite throwing well, said, “It’s a pity that I gave up the first run in the 4th inning. He somehow tried to throw with the minimum number of runs, but he had to reflect on the fact that the number of pitches (101 pitches) increased. I lost this time, but I look forward to having another chance next time.”