Swallows slugger Munetaka Murakami hit a five-at-bat homer streak in a game against the Chunichi Dragons on August 2. Murakami became the first player to record the five-at-bat homer streak in NPB history. So far, he is hitting .321 with 39 home runs and 98 RBIs in 95 games.
The left-handed batter began his streak with a solo shot at Koshien Stadium on August 1. Murakami started the game vs. the Tigers as a third baseman and batting fourth. He hit a solo homer as the first one off the Tigers' lefty, Yudai Watanabe, into the left-field stands to make the game 1-2 in the seventh inning. The second was a game-tying home run into the right-field stands in the ninth to bring the game into the extra inning. In the eleventh, he had a go-ahead homer with two RBIs into the left-field stands to win the game, 4-2.
After a day off, the 22-year-old player kept in reasonable condition on August 3. Murakami, who started the game against the Dragons at Jingu Stadium, shot a solo homer into the right-field stands as the fourth off the Dragons' ace, Yuya Yanagi, at his first at-bat in the first. He tied the NPB record with a four-at-bat homer streak at this time. Finally, Murakami slugged the fifth homer with 2 RBIs into the left-center field stands in his second at-bat in the third to make the new record in NPB.
In his third at-bat, he hit a double, although his streak stopped.
Munetaka said, "I thought I might hit a homer because I had a dream in which I hit a home run today. It hasn't hit me yet."
Murakami is expected to break the most homers record in a single season in NPB. The current NPB record is the 60 homers that Wladimir Balentien made in 2013. If he continues to belt homers at this pace in 48 remaining games, he can aim at more than 60 home runs this season. Also, Murakami will be a possible player to win the triple crown. MLB will acquire the Japanese-born player in the near future.
Munetaka Murakami was born in Kumamoto prefecture and graduated from Kyushu Gakuin high school. The Tokyo Yakult Swallows selected Murakami in the first round of the 2017 NPB draft.
(MLB No.81 KAISPO No.1195)
I want to introduce Japanese prospects as field players to be a Major Leaguer to you.
Yoshida is a high-average batter. He has hit higher than three hundred in 5 of 7 seasons since his debut. He won a leading hitter twice. His batting is stable.He is not tall as a baseball player. However, he is well-muscled. I expect him to have a good result in MLB. I hope an MLB team
Murakami is a very hopeful player.
He won the rookie of the year, home run king, and MVP. Murakami reached 100 homers and 100 RBIs at the youngest age in NPB history. So, he has a possibility to get the triple crown. His fighting spirit is suited for the Major League.
Yamakawa is a No.1 slugger in the Pacific League.
Yamakawa reached No.100 homer in 321 games at the fastest pace among Japanese players in 2019 in NPB history.
He is achieving No.200 homer with one more homer within the next 17 games, which is at the fastest pace among Japanese players in NPB history. His hitting performance earned the MVP and home run king titles. He is a possible player to achieve the triple crown.
Okamoto is a powerful batter in the Central League. Okamoto hit more than 30 homers for the 4th straight year from 2018 to 2021.
He won two main titles. So, he is also a prospect to win the triple crown.
(NPB No.60 KAISPO No.1192)
I want to introduce three prospects to be a Major Leaguer to you.
Roki Sasaki already pitched a fastball with 101 mph when he was a high school player. Everyone knows that he threw a perfect game in April with 19 strikeouts which were the most in a game in the NPB history. In the next game, he also had perfect innings until the eighth frame. It was almost 2 perfect games in a row. It was Incredible.Although he is just 20 years old, he is already historical.
Kodai Senga joined the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks as a developmental player in 2010 who was not a player by an official draft. However, now he has become the highest-paid player as a pitcher in the NPB. He made his Japanese baseball dream come true. His forkball is nasty. It is called the Gohst fork, in Japanese, It is called OBAKE fork. He should throw it in the MLB. I expect he will try the MLB next season.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto played a key role as an Ace pitcher for the victory of the Orix Buffaloes in the Pacific League last season.He won main awards for a pitcher including Sawamura Award almost equal to Cy Young Award in the MLB. Former professional players say that his all types of pitches are the first-class balls. I’m looking forward to trying the Major League in the near future.
(NPB No.59 KAISPO No.1191)
The Chiba Lotte Marines righty, Roki Sasaki, had his first loss (5-1) this season. Sasaki started the game against the Yomiuri Giants as a starting pitcher at Tokyo Dome on Jun 3 JST. He gave up eight hits and five runs(4 ERs), with his most ones of the season over five innings. His team lost the game, 10-3.
The righty allowed two consecutive long hits, the game's first run in the second, and was hit a homer by the Giants' slugger, Kazuma Okamoto, in the third. The homer was his first one to be beaten at the 233rd batter he faced this season. The 20-year-old said, "I am sorry that I made mistakes and dragged my team down. I made a careless pitch."
However, Sasaki reached No.100 strikeout in 10 game appearances to tie the record for the fastest pace in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. (Hideo Nomo in 1990, Chihiro Kaneko in 2014, Takahiro Norimoto in 2017)
(NPB No.58 KAISPO No.1190)
Japanese outstanding pitcher in NPB, Roki Sasaki, gained his fifth win(5-0) to tie the top. Sasaki started the game against the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks as a starting pitcher at Pay Pay Dome on May 20. The righty gave up four hits, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and a run, with nine strikeouts with 97 pitches over six frames.
Sasaki retired hitters rationally to get rid of two times scoring positions. He said, "I could pitch as forcefully as possible, given me four scores in the early innings. It was hard to command well, so I couldn't pitch in longer innings. I will try to fix it by the next game. "
The 20-year-old annoyed the Hawks' hitters, mixing nasty split-fingered fastballs with 93 mph, breaking balls, and cutters. 45 of 97 pitches were fastballs, and 41 were over 100 mph. In the game, his average velocity was 100 mph as well.
Sasaki graduated from the Ofunato high school in Iwate prefecture. The Chiba Lotte Marines selected him in the first round of the 2019 NPB draft. On May 16, 2021, he made his NPB debut against the Seibu Lions as a starting pitcher. His professional record is now 8-2 in his 19 appearances. Sasaki has left a vivid impression of throwing a perfect game to the world of baseball this season.
(NPB No.57 KAISPO No.1186)
The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks' right-hander, Nao Higashihama, achieved it in NPB. He threw a no-hitter in the game against the Seibu Lions to lead his team to a 2-0 win at Pay Pay dome on May 11.
The 31-year-old pitcher allowed just two walks with 97 pitches and retired just 27 batters with two double plays and six strikeouts, using his fastball around 93 mph, cutter, and sinker. After the game, he said, "I didn't think I could do it. Incredible." The victory brought him his 4th win (4-1) of the season.
Higashihama became the third pitcher to have a no-hitter in the Hawks history and the second player this season since Roki Sasaki of the Chiba Lotte Marines threw a perfect game against the Orix Buffaloes on April 10.
Nao Higashihama from Okinawa was a pitcher leading his high school baseball team to a champion in the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament in 2008.
(NPB No.56 KAISPO No.1184)
Japanese remarkable pitcher, Roki Sasaki, took the mound in the game against the Orix Buffaloes today. The 20-years-old right-hander continued 17 consecutive perfect innings before the game. However, Sasaki gave up three hits in the first inning by which the seventeen-inning perfect streak came to an end. The Buffaloes who lost a game by Sasaki's perfect pitching two weeks ago had six hits for five innings Sasaki pitched. The hopeful pitcher allowed two runs and three walks, having four strikeouts in five frames. The Chiba Lotte Marines with Sasaki took the game, 6-2 to give him his third win of the season. Sasaki has three wins and no loss with a 1.50 ERA for a five-game start.
(MLB No.55 KAISPO No.1174)
Japanese perfector, Roki Sasaki, showed an exciting pitching again today. Sasaki pitched a perfect game until the eighth inning again. Unfortunately, the great right-hander left the mound after the eighth. He almost achieved two consecutive perfect games. Unbelievable!!
(NPB No.54 KAISPO No.1152)
Roki Sasaki, a Japanese hopeful pitcher, pitched a perfect game vs. the Orix Buffaloes on April 10 JST. He bacame the 16th perfector in the Nippon Professional Baseball League since 1994. Also, he had 19 strikeouts including 13 consecutive strikeouts in the game. The 13 strikeouts in a row is a new record and the 19 strikeouts in a game ties the record in the NPB. His velocity recorded 101 mph. I am surprised by a fact that a cather is Matsukawa who is a rookie. Sasaki will join the MLB in the near future.
(NPB No.53 KAISPO No.1129)
3/10/2020 JST By HIDE
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