Another scoreless game.
Orix Buffaloes’ ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto allowed 4 hits and no runs in 7 innings in the game against the Nippon Ham Fighters held at Escon Field in Kitahiroshima, Hokkaido on the 2nd. He faced 29 batters on 108 pitches, allowing three walks and striking out nine. It was their 13th win of the season and the most wins in both the Pacific League and Central League.
My mouth drops open when I watch the recent games.
He recorded an ERA of ‘0’ in 5 games in a month, from the game against the Rakuten Eagles on August 1st to the game against Nippon Ham on the 2nd. He pitched 33 innings and allowed 3 runs, all non-earned runs. He finished four of the five games with seven scoreless innings.
Yamamoto was strong in September, when competition for rankings was fierce. In September 2021, he had 4 wins – 0.90 ERA, and in 2022, he had 4 wins – 1.38. In the past two years when the team was at the top of the league for two consecutive years, it had 8 wins and no losses in September. In the seven years since their debut season, they have achieved 15 wins (4 losses) in September.
Even after sending out a runner in scoring position, he kept it clear. In the bottom of the second inning, a fielding error resulted in a single, one out, and second and third bases. He set up the follow-up batter with consecutive hits. He struck out No. 6 Ariel Martinez with a pitcher’s ground ball and No. 7 Daigo Kamikawahata with a missed swing.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, he gave up a walk and a double and was on the verge of giving up a run. He ended the inning by striking out No. 9 Dorai Fushimi with 2 outs and 2nd and 3rd bases. In 1B2S, throw a forkball that falls low to the body and miss the swing.
Even in the bottom of the 5th inning, I was a little shaken. Leadoff hitter No. 1 Go Matsumoto hit to shortstop, and No. 2 Yuya Gunji was sent out on a walk. With no outs on first and second base, they overwhelmed Nippon Ham’s cleanup trio of numbers 3-5. He struck out No. 3 Kotaro Kiyomiya on a swing, struck out No. 4 Jusei Namami while striking out, and No. 5 Wang Bo-rong with a grounder to second base.
Ace was strong in times of crisis.
Yamamoto, who finished the bottom of the 6th inning with a third batter, completed his mission by striking out Nos. 1 and 2 Matsumoto and Gunji with one out in the bottom of the 7th inning with consecutive missed swings.
The ace of aces who became the first Japanese professional baseball player to win four crowns for multiple wins, earned run average, strikeouts, and winning percentage for two consecutive years. Looking forward to winning 4 awards for 3 years in a row.
Yamamoto earned his 13th win in the game against Nippon Ham held at 2 p.m. on the 2nd and lowered his ERA to 1.34. He added 9 strikeouts, recording 137 strikeouts and a .702 ERA. He ranked first in the Pacific League in four divisions.
However, that night, he ranked second in strikeouts. Atsuki Taneichi of Chiba Lotte Marines plays a night game.
In the game against the Rakuten Eagles, he struck out 7 times and regained the lead in this category. Taneichi has 143 strikeouts, 6 more than Yamamoto.
Taneichi is the biggest obstacle to winning four gold medals. Taneichi has a strikeout rate of 10.64 per 9 innings, ahead of Yamamoto with 9.20. Chiba Lotte’s ‘monster pitcher’ Loki Sasaki (22) was in overwhelming first place, but left due to injury, and Taneichi and Yamamoto are continuing the competition for first place in this category.