Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) is in the hunt for his third straight four-peat, leading the league in wins, ERA, winning percentage, and strikeouts. With Chiba Lotte Marines’ “monster pitcher” Roki Sasaki (22) sidelined by injury, he is expected to dominate.
Yamamoto started a home game against the Rakuten Eagles at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka on April 1 and pitched seven scoreless innings. He earned his 10th win of the season in a 6-2 victory.
It is the first 10 wins in both the Pacific and Central Leagues. Faced 27 batters on 106 pitches through seven innings, walking four and striking out seven.
Worked out of an early jam. In the top of the first, he got Hiroto Kobukata, the No. 2 hitter, to fly out to center field. He then gave up a single to left field to Hideto Asamura, No. 4, to put runners on first and second.
He quickly put out the fire. He struck out No. 5 Maikel Franco on three pitches. He followed that up with a forkball to induce three straight swings and misses.
In the top of the sixth, we had runners in scoring position again. The situation was similar to the first inning. Kobukata led off with a double to right field. Asamura followed with a single up the middle to put runners on first and second.
Like a top ace, he pressed lightly. He threw a curveball to Franco, inducing a grounder to third. 5(3b)-4(2b)-3(1b) double play to end the inning.
“I was fortunate to give up a hit and keep the game scoreless,” Yamamoto said. “I’ll try to pitch something worthy of praise in the next game.” The seven strikeouts must have bothered him.
This year, he continues to be unstoppable.
In 15 starts, he has 14 quality starts (6+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less). He won double digits for the third straight year and reached 10 wins for the second straight year. He returned from representing Japan in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March and showed no signs of the effects of starting the season early.
In 2021, he went 18-5 with a 1.39 ERA, 206 strikeouts, and a 0.783 winning percentage, and in 2022, he went 15-5 with a 1.68 ERA, 205 strikeouts, and a 0.750 winning percentage. Became the first pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball history to win four pitching titles in back-to-back years. Won the Pacific League MVP and Sawamura Award for the second straight year.바카라
This year, Sasaki had a scary first half. But after leading the league in ERA, strikeouts, and wins, Sasaki went down with a side muscle injury in his first start of the second half. He won’t return until mid-September. Sasaki’s absence has allowed Yamamoto to move into first place in all three categories except strikeouts.
Day 1: 10-4 with a 1.67 ERA, 114 strikeouts, and a 0.714 winning percentage. Sasaki leads the league with 130 strikeouts.