Orix Buffaloes’ ‘super ace’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25) allowed 5 runs in 7 innings against Chiba Lotte Marines on the 18th. It was an incredible pitch for Yamamoto, who pitched perfectly in almost every game. Moreover, it was the first game of the Climax Series Final Stage. In the top of the first inning, he allowed consecutive hits to the 1st and 2nd batters, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. He struggled in this game, giving up 10 hits. The batting lineup exploded and he won 8-5, becoming the embarrassing winning pitcher.
Yamamoto contributed to the victory as a key pitcher for the Japanese national team at the WBC (World Baseball Classic) held last March. Returning to his team, he performed well at WBC without any aftereffects. He won 16 games (6 losses), had an ERA of 1.21, struck out 169, and had a winning percentage of 0.727. He won four awards for multiple wins, earned run average, strikeouts, and winning percentage for three consecutive years. His four wins in two consecutive years were also the first, and he also rewrote baseball history. His performance is such that he can only be called a ‘super ace’ or a ‘monster pitcher.’굿모닝토토
I thought the poor performance against Chiba Lotte was a game that could happen once in a while. But it wasn’t.
Game 1 of the Japan Series against the Hanshin Tigers on the 28th after taking 9 days off. The first match of the Kansai derby, which was held after 59 years, was in the worst situation. In the top of the sixth inning, with two outs, he had 10 hits and gave up seven runs (seven earned).
Orix, which ranked first in the Pacific League for three consecutive years, lost 0-8 to Hanshin, the first-place team in the Central League. Even though they had ‘Super Ace’ as the starter at their home stadium, Kyocera Dome in Osaka, they were humiliated. Orix’s batting lineup was blocked by the Hanshin pitching staff and only managed two hits.
This is the first time Yamamoto has allowed 7 earned runs in 1 game since his professional debut in 2017. 7 against Softbank Hawks on May 3 last year
Although he gave up a run, he gave up 6 earned runs. He has only had five hits in one inning four times, including against Chiba Lotte 10 days ago.
Yamamoto continued the game until the 4th inning.
With one out and one out in the top of the first inning, he sent out No. 2 Takumu Nakano with a single to left and then struck out No. 3 Shota Morishita. Nakano stole second base and ended the first inning with three batters. The 2nd and 3rd innings were blocked by consecutive three strikeouts with 3 strikeouts. In the top of the second inning, he threw a fastball of 159 km/h, his best tie, against Sheldon Noisy.
In the top of the 4th inning, he reached first and second base with no outs thanks to an infield hit and a fielding error. He induced No. 3 Morishita into a double play at shortstop and struck out No. 4 Yusuke Oyama. 2 hits and no runs until the 4th inning.
The nightmare began after sending out leadoff batter No. 5 Teruaki Sato with a heavy hit in the top of the fifth inning. Sato was allowed to steal second base, and No. 7 Ryo Watanabe hit a timely first hit. He then gave up a 2-RBI triple to Yuji Jikamoto and an RBI 1-run hit to Nakano. 0-4. He gave up a walk and two hits in the top of the sixth inning. Manager Satoshi Nakajima personally went to the mound and announced the replacement.
Yamamoto said, “We can’t end it like this. Even if we lost the first game, our team is not a team that will easily give up. I will take the mound in the sixth game and get revenge.” Orix lost 1 draw and 2 losses to Yakult Swallows in last year’s Japan Series, but won 4 games in a row.
I won and won the championship.
Yamamoto started in the first game of the Japan Series for three consecutive years starting in 2021 and suffered two losses. Last year, in the first game against Yakult, he gave up 4 runs in 4 innings and became the losing pitcher. In the first game against Yakult in 2021, the team gave up 1 run in 6 innings and came down from 0-1, but the team achieved a 4-3 comeback win. In Game 6, he pitched 9 innings, allowing 1 run, and was replaced with the score tied 1-1.
Among the four pitchers who started Game 1 of the Japan Series for three consecutive years, Yamamoto is the only one without a win.
Former Orix coach Haruki Ihara, who is currently working as a commentator, cited lack of curve control as the reason for Yamamoto’s sluggish performance. He explained that he needed to catch the count with a curveball, but he had no control over the ball, so he had no choice but to focus on fastballs and forkballs, and after one turn in the batting order, the Hanshin batting line saw through this.