Is Japan winning the WBC?
The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals started a weekend three-game series from the 13th (Korean time) at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. If you know it, in March, Japan’s WBC champions faced off against each other. Masataka Yoshida, the WBC RBI leader and Boston star, and St. Louis outfielder Lars Nuthba. The two were the two pillars that protected Japan’s outfield.
Yoshida had a 16-game hitting streak from April 21st against the Minnesota Twins to the 8th against the Philadelphia Phillies. During this period, his batting average also rose from 0.167 to 0.321. On this day too, he got 2 hits. This season, Yoshida is 38 hits in 124 at-bats in 32 games, batting average 0.306, 6 homers, 24 RBIs, 23 runs, OPS 0.895.
But on this day, Nutba was not pushed at all. Rather, it was superior in terms of nutritional value. Nutba entered the WBC in March as a Japanese-American. He went 7-for-26 with a batting average of 0.269, 4 RBIs, 7 runs and an OPS of 0.693 in 7 WBC games, which 메이저놀이터 was not bad. In fact, he was a player who contributed to St. Louis with superior defensive power rather than offensive power, but as a member of the Japanese national team, he even hit well.
On this day, he started in right field 8 times and went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, 1 run and 1 walk. In particular, in the top of the 6th inning when the score was tied 4-4, Boston right-hander Richard Bleaer’s middle sinker connected with a 1 RBI turnaround left-handed double. The scene where he lightly pushed the batted ball stood out.
Even in the top of the ninth inning, behind 5-6, the second baseman hit Boston finisher Kenley Jansen’s cutter and scored a heavy blow to tie the score with one RBI. Jansen is a major league closer who recently recorded 400 individual saves. Ahead of this season, he signed a two-year, $32 million contract with Boston. Nutba gave Jansen a blown save, and St. Louis drove the momentum and won a comeback victory 8-6.
In 25 games this season, Nutba went 26 hits in 86 at-bats with a batting average of 0.302, 3 homers, 13 RBIs, 14 runs, and an OPS of 0.886. He debuted in the major leagues in 2021, and over the past two years, batting averages of 0.239 and 0.228, a total of 19 homers and 55 RBIs over the two years. He is poised to write a career high in batting this season. He is struggling to raise the average by going back and forth between the late 20% and early 30% with the 30%.
Nutba and Yoshida worked together in March to win the WBC. Following Yoshida, if Nutba has the best season of his life, it can be interpreted as receiving the energy to win the WBC. Nutba’s performance in May was a batting average of 0.389 with 1 home run and 7 RBIs.