He’s comfortable throwing 160km/h fastballs.
Roki Sasaki’s (23) fastball was unchanged in his first appearance in 23 days. On the 28th, the day Lee Dae-ho threw out the ceremonial first pitch, he threw 36 fastballs at 160 kilometres per hour against the SoftBank Hawks in Fukuoka. According to Japanese media, 76 per cent of his pitches that day were in the 160km/h range.
In the bottom of the third inning, a low, body-courting fastball from 2S against No. 9 Takuya Kai touched 164 kilometres per hour. It was his fastest pitch of the day. Kai was the starting catcher for Japan in the World Baseball Classic (WBC).토토사이트
Sasaki came back well-rested, and his pitches were full of power.
In the bottom of the first inning, three forked balls to No. 2 Daisuke Makihara turned into balls. Backed up to 3B, Sasaki fired three 160km/h fastballs in quick succession to work a full count, then induced a swinging strike with a forkball.
In the bottom of the fourth, he gave up back-to-back singles to Akira Nakamura at 1B and Makihara at 2B. A sacrifice bunt by Gensuke Kondo, No. 3, brought in another run. He then regained control with a powerful fastball.
He threw six consecutive fastballs to No. 4 Yuki Yanagita, SoftBank’s best hitter, and sent him flying into the left-field bleachers. From the outset, he pressurised Yanagita with fastballs of 162, 161, 162, 162, 162 and 163 kilometres per hour. In the fifth inning, he struck out three batters in four balls.
Sasaki pitched six innings, allowing two runs on three hits to earn the win. He is now 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA in six starts this season. In 38 innings pitched, he has struck out 59 batters, tops in that category.
A key part of Japan’s WBC victory, Sasaki has made his presence felt in the major leagues through the tournament. Major League clubs are keeping an eye on him.
According to Japanese media, New York Mets general manager Billy Eppler and representatives from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies were on hand to watch Sasaki’s return. Hideo Nomo, who advises the San Diego Padres, was also at the Fukuoka Dome. Eppler hired Shohei Ohtani in 2017 when he was manager of the Los Angeles Angels.
Sasaki made his first start against SoftBank on 5 May and pitched five scoreless innings before being pulled. He was removed early due to a blister on his finger. He was subsequently rested to treat the blister.
Masato Chiba Lotte manager Yoshii Yoshii gave Sasaki plenty of rest after he pitched five regular-season games for Japan in the WBC. Yoshii worked with Sasaki as a pitching coach for the Japanese team at the WBC. The club has managed Sasaki’s pitching schedule and pitch count since his first year with the club.