“Sasaki has already been completed” Praise of the 56th home run MVP who struck out at 160 km as a perfect man

An interesting confrontation took place on the 15th at the Okinawa spring camp of the Nippon Professional Baseball.메이저놀이터

Rocky Sasaki (21. Chiba Lotte Marines) and Munetaka Murakami (23. Yakult Swallows) clashed for the first time in a practice game as starting pitcher and 4th hitter. 

Sasaki achieved a perfect game in the 2022 season. He sprayed the ball up to 164 km and emerged as the next-generation ace of the NPB league. Murakami hit 56 home runs, the most by a Japanese player, and was named MVP by unanimous decision. As young pitchers representing Japan, they were selected for the WBC national team. 

The result was Sasaki’s complete victory. Murakami, a left-handed hitter, faced off Sasaki as the first batter in the second inning, but withdrew after striking out on a 160km fastball to the inside. When the perfect light-speed ball came in, even the home run king’s bat inevitably cut through the wind. 

Even though it was a spring camp practice game, about 4,000 spectators gathered to watch the match between the two players. Murakami, who was completely defeated, said, “(Sasaki) seems to have already been completed,” expressing his feelings directly feeling Sasaki’s pitch. It was the best compliment. He continued, “I haven’t got my swing yet. I’ll make adjustments for the season with the WBC,” he promised. 

Sasaki started his first game outside the country that day and pitched 2 innings, striking out 5 times and giving up 1 hit and no run. It sprayed balls up to 160 km long and used a high-speed slider with a high-speed fork of 145 km.

Sasaki said with satisfaction, “In the end, I went into a good place. It was a practice game, but I didn’t want to hit a home run. It was good to dominate it.” In particular, before the game, he declared, “I want to strike out with a inside fastball,” and he did just that.

The Japanese media gave a generous evaluation, saying that even the precision of the breaking ball was added. Sasaki played only 129⅓ innings in 20 games last year, the second year of actual operation. He is expected to become a complete starting pitcher who plays his first full-time this year. /sunny@osen.co./kr

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