Nippon Professional Baseball’s Nippon Ham Fighters’ Hiromi Ito (26) pitched a dominant game against the league’s top pitcher, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Oryx Buffaloes).
Ito started the game against the Oryx at Escon Field in Hokkaido, Japan, on February 2 and threw 116 pitches over nine innings, striking out 11 and walking just two.
However, the team’s bats went silent, resulting in an 0-1 record. Ito struck out a career-high 11 batters, breaking a streak of 26 consecutive batters reaching base.
Ito has thrown three consecutive complete games. On Aug. 19, he allowed two runs on four hits (two home runs) in eight innings (120 pitches) against the Oryx; on Aug. 26, he struck out six in nine innings (107 pitches) against the Seibu; and today, he allowed one run in nine innings.
In the first inning, he gave up a double to left field to Orix leadoff hitter Ryoma Ikeda. He struck out the next batter to get out of the jam, but gave up a leadoff single to Keita Nakagawa to left one out later, but little did he know that would be the only run of the game.
After giving up the run, Ito got an outfield popup and a swinging strikeout to end the inning. From the second through the ninth innings, he didn’t allow a single batter to reach base.
He retired 26 consecutive batters, including two in the first inning. He overpowered the Oryx lineup with a 150-plus mph fastball and his main weapon, a slider, mixed with a curve and a splitter.
In the second inning, an infield grounder, an outfield fly, and a strikeout ended the inning. In the third, an infield grounder, a strikeout, and an infield foul fly ended the inning. In the fourth inning, the Oryx batting order of 3-5 was retired on consecutive strikeouts and an infield fly.
The fifth inning ended with three infield grounders to the bottom of the order. In the bottom of the sixth, a throwing error by the shortstop allowed a runner to reach first base and steal second, but he was caught in a double play between first and second. In the seventh, he struck out center fielders Nakagawa and Tomoya Mori in succession.
After throwing 101 pitches through the eighth inning, Ito threw another 150-kilometer fastball in the ninth to end the inning with a triple play.
While Ito gave up a run in the first inning and pitched a scoreless inning on the mound, the NipponHam offense missed numerous opportunities. Against Yamamoto, they had runners on first and second in the second, second and third in the third, second and second in the fourth, and runners on first and second with no outs in the fifth, but were unable to capitalize.
In the second inning, a pitcher’s miscue left the runner at third base, and a strikeout ended the threat. In the fourth inning, they struck out. In the fifth, with runners on first and second, Kiyomiya and Mannami were stranded on consecutive groundouts.
In the bottom of the ninth, Nihon Hamm had runners on first and second off Orix reliever Yoshihisa Hirano with a leadoff single, sacrifice bunt and walk, but pinch-hitter Yudai Furukawa struck out and leadoff hitter Ko Matsumoto flied out to right field.
Yamamoto pitched seven innings (108 pitches), allowing four hits, three walks and nine strikeouts to earn his 13th win of the season. He is tied for first in both leagues in wins.온라인카지노
Nippon Ham manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo said after the game, “It was a good pitching game, we had a lot of (scoring) chances, and each time, (opponent) Yamamoto’s ability to go up a gear was amazing. In terms of pitching, I think Ito had the edge.”
Ito went 10-9 with a 2.90 ERA in 23 games in his rookie year in 2021. In his sophomore year last year, he led the team in innings pitched (155.2) and went 10-9 with a 2.95 ERA and one save in 26 games for his second straight 10-win season. This season, he is 7-8 with a 3.18 ERA in 21 appearances.