Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), who is on the verge of breaking into the Major Leagues, pitched his best game in front of Major League Baseball scouts.
Yamamoto pitched nine innings, throwing 125 pitches with five hits, one walk, 13 strikeouts and one run (one earned) against the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball 2023 at the Kobe Sports Park Baseball Field in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan on Aug. 8.
Yamamoto is hoping to make it to the major leagues after this season through the “posting system. In front of scouts from eight major league clubs, he threw a 125-pitch complete game to lead the Pacific League in wins (8), while striking out 94 batters and lowering his ERA from 1.87 to 1.79, ranking second in both categories.
It was a clean start. Yamamoto retired the top of the order of Shuta Tonosaki, Sosuke Genda, and Shohei Suzuki in order in the first inning to break up a triple play. In the second, he struck out leadoff hitter Takeya Nakamura before giving up a walk to Makinon to load the bases for the first time. Yamamoto then got Junichi Kishi to ground out to shortstop to give himself a breather, then gave up a single to Ryusei Sato, but got help from his defense to throw out the runner at third to end the inning.
The solid pitching continued. Yamamoto worked another triple play in the third inning, then struck out two in the fourth to keep the game scoreless. He then struck out the bottom of the order of Kishi, Sato, and Wataru Takagi in the fifth with two more strikeouts for his third no-hitter.
The first run came in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Yamamoto was hit by a high cutter in the middle of the 149-kilometer strike zone from Genda for a double to left field, then gave up a 145-kilometer forkball to Suzuki for the first run of the game. But he got Nakamura to fly out to left field to end the inning without further damage.
Yamamoto retired the next three batters in order in the seventh inning – Makinon, Kishi, and Sato – and then retired the next three batters in order in the eighth inning – Takeru Furuichi, Yuji Kaneko, and Tonosaki with a 122-kilometer curveball, a 144-kilometer fork, and a 144-kilometer fork, respectively – before taking the mound in the ninth inning and holding the Seibu bats scoreless to earn the complete game victory. The complete game was his first of the season, and he struck out 13 and threw 125 pitches. His fastball reached 156 mph.
After winning four Pacific League Pitcher of the Year awards in the 2021-2022 season, the Sawamura Award for the best pitcher, and the regular season MVP, Yamamoto has established himself as the “ace” of Nippon Professional Baseball and is expected to challenge for the major leagues after the season ends. Having already proven his international competitiveness at the World Baseball Classic (WBC), it’s clear that he’s catching the eye of many scouts.
According to Japan’s Full Count and Sports Hotspot, a number of major league scouts were on hand to watch Yamamoto pitch at the Kobe Comprehensive Sports Park Baseball Stadium. According to the media, eight teams, including the San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, and Toronto Blue Jays, watched Yamamoto. “Eight major league teams were on hand,” Full Count and Sports Hochi reported.카지노
“Senga Kodai (New York Mets) had inconsistent command, but has been performing well since signing a five-year, $75 million deal with the Mets,” according to Major League Baseball Trade Rumors (MLBTR). Joel Sherman of the New York Post rates Yamamoto better than Senga. And Yamamoto is younger and arguably better than Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles). If he can stay healthy, a contract of more than $200 million (approximately 260.6 billion won) is not out of the question.”
After the game, manager Satoshi Nakajima praised his ace’s comeback, saying, “He told me he was going to go (into the ninth inning), so I let him go,” and Yamamoto was pleased, saying, “He had a lot of good, strong pitches, which led to a good result.” Yamamoto’s big contract is getting closer and closer.