Japanese professional baseball Chiba Lotte Marines’ ‘monster’ pitcher Roki Sasaki became the losing pitcher for two consecutive games. Since returning from injury, he has pitched only 3 innings in 2 consecutive games and has not been able to show the same powerful pitch as before.
Sasaki appeared as a starting pitcher in the game against the Seibu Lions held at the Veruna Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan on the 17th, and recorded a loss with 4 hits, 1 walk, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, and 3 runs in 3 innings.
In the first inning, he struck out top hitter Shunichiro Kishi with a grounder to shortstop and Sosuke Genda with a 138km forkball, resulting in two outs. However, it faced difficulties after that. With two outs, he walked Ryosei Sato on a straight walk, and then got hit by Takumi Kuriyama to right, putting the bases on 1st and 3rd.
Against Aito, the 3rd pitch forkball (139km) fell and hit the body. After an 11-pitch battle against Kento Watanabe with bases loaded and two outs, he allowed the first run with a push-out throw. The fastball in the middle of the 9th pitch had the highest speed of the day at 160km, but it was a foul. The 11th pitch forkball (141km) was too close to the body and ended up being a dead ball.
In the ongoing crisis with bases loaded and 2 outs, he threw a 157km fastball on the 3rd pitch with 2 strikes to Shuta Donosaki, but it went high in the middle and allowed a 2-run double to the right. The inning ended with a ground ball to shortstop with 2 outs and 2nd and 3rd bases. The number of pitches in the first inning was 38.
After one out in the second inning, Kishi hit a heavy hit, but Genda ended the game without a run thanks to a double play with a grounder to shortstop. After one out in the third inning, Kuriyama hit a heavy hit. He struck out Aito with a 138km slider, but it was a one-bound wild pitch and the runner on first base advanced to second base. With 2 outs and runners on second base, he struck out Watanabe and ended the inning.
Sasaki, who threw 70 pitches through the third inning, was replaced in the fourth inning. Chiba Lotte was down 0-3 until the 8th inning, and Hiromi Oka hit a two-run home run with 2 outs in the 9th. Next, pinch hitter Katsuya Kakunaka reached base with a double to left, but Toshiya Sato struck out on a missed swing and lost the game 2-3.
Sasaki, who displayed his incredible power by achieving a perfect game last year, ranked first in ERA and strikeouts through July of this season. However, at the end of July, he was sidelined with a left side injury. He was initially expected to take about 3 months to return, but he recovered quickly and returned in 48 days. On the 10th, he started against Orix and became the losing pitcher with 2 hits, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 1 run in 3 innings (45 pitches). 스포츠토토
On this day, he increased the number of pitches to 70 pitches, but it appears that he has not yet recovered to 100% physical condition. The highest speed of his fastball was 161 km on the 10th and only 160 km on this day.
Since his return, he has lost 2 games in 2 games and allowed 4 runs in 6 innings (ERA 6.00). Before his injury, he had 7 wins and 2 losses in 13 games, with an ERA of 1.48, but after his return, his ERA increased to 1.78.