I recorded 160km per hour in 9 days after the spring camp started. World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japan national team starting pitcher Sasaki Rocky (22) pitched in a simulation batting held at the Lotte Marines Camp in Chiba, Ishigaki, Okinawa on the 9th. Sasaki, who was playing for the first time with the WBC official ball, hit two fastballs at 160 km/h. He hit 6 batters and threw 30 balls, which resulted in 2 hit balls.
It is a different spring camp from previous years. In accordance with the WBC schedule, the pace was raised faster than last year. Prior to that, he pitched three times in the bullpen before getting into practice.
During last year’s spring camp, on February 19th, he recorded 161 km/h in a practice match against the Nippon Ham Fighters. He threw a fastball of 160 km per hour 10 days earlier than last year.
A scene like a ‘baseball cartoon’ 스포츠토토unfolded. The Japanese media said that when Sasaki climbed the mound, Ishigaki’s air changed. The music that filled the arena stopped. The crowd of about 1,000 fans was suddenly enveloped in silence. Everyone in the game focused on the mound.
The first batter was left-handed hitter Kyota Fujiwara (23). The fourth fastball hit 160 km/h. It stabbed a high course towards his body. He also threw a forkball against left-hander Hisanori Yasuda (24), causing a miss, and then induced a ground ball with a fastball at 160 km/h.
In an interview after the game, he said, “My forkball has gotten better since the national team evaluation match at the end of last year, and my control has gotten better.” He went on to say, “There was a dangerous ball among the sliders thrown to the right-handed hitter.”
Matsugawa Go (20), a catcher who completed a “perfect game” with Sasaki last year, said, “I tested a fastball against a left-handed hitter and a slider against a right-handed hitter.”
On November 10 of last year, Sasaki, who started the game against the Australian national team, pitched 4 hits and no runs in 4 innings. He faced 17 batters and had 59 pitches, struck out two, and walked one.
In this game, which was his national team debut, his 159 km/h was the best. It was his first actual pitching in 45 days after appearing against the Softbank Hawks in the regular season.
Sasaki is scheduled to start a practice match against the Yakult Swallows on the 15th. It is a highly anticipated match against Munetaka Murakami (23), a teammate of the national team who hit 56 home runs last year. After this game, he joins the Miyazaki national team camp that starts on the 17th.
Sasaki is Yu Darvish (37, San Diego Padres) and Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels). He plans to participate in this tournament as a starting pitcher along with Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25, Orix Buffaloes).