Monday Sep 25, 2023

‘KKKKKKKKKKKKK’ hitter gets stronger after hitting ‘2B→3B’… Wins 10K in 122-pitch battle

Shota Imanaga (30, DeNA BayStars, Yokohama), who will be eligible for the U.S. Major League Baseball after this season, was dominant in the two-hitter as “Idoryu. He hit a double and a triple at the plate, and on the mound, he threw 122 pitches and struck out 10 before leaving without a win.

Imanaga batted ninth in the lineup against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp on June 6 at Matsuda Stadium in Hiroshima, Japan.

He impressed at the plate before he did on the mound. Yokohama took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Keita Sano. In the second inning, Hiroshima loaded the bases by sending their No. 8 hitter to the plate on a wild pitch. The next batter was Imanaga.

But Imanaga took a 137-kilometer cutter on a 1B-2S pitch and smashed it over the right-field fence for a single. 2-0.

In his second at-bat of the fifth inning, he led off and hit a high slider (124km) up the middle for a triple to right. He later scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple, scoring one run and driving in one.

On the mound, he struggled a bit. Imanaga gave up back-to-back singles in the first inning to put runners on first and second, but got Davidson, a foreign hitter, to ground out to shortstop to end the inning.

In the second, he gave up a leadoff single, but retired the next three batters in a row to end the inning. In the third, he retired four straight batters, including the leadoff hitter.

The fourth inning was a crisis. After giving up a leadoff single to Shota Tobayashi, he got back-to-back strikeouts to get two outs, but gave up back-to-back walks to load the bases. He struck out Masaya Yano on a wild pitch to preserve the no-hitter.

In the top of the fifth, back-to-back infield singles and a throwing error by the shortstop put runners on first and third, but he struck out Tovayashi and Davidson on consecutive pitches.

Imanaga, who had thrown 103 pitches through five innings, took the mound in the sixth but couldn’t get over the hump. A single, walk, hit-by-pitch and strikeout put runners on first and second. He gave up a two-run double to pinch-hitter Tsubasa Aizawa.

With the bases loaded and the score 3-2, Imanaga turned the ball over to reliever Escobar. Escobar hit an RBI triple to tie the game at 3-3 and end Imanaga’s chances of winning.

Both teams then went scoreless through the ninth inning. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Davidson hit a walk-off home run to give Hiroshima a 4-3 victory. Hiroshima’s second straight shutout win.

Imanaga threw 122 pitches in 5⅔ innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks. He has won his last six starts and is 7-3 with a 2.81 ERA in 19 games this season. He threw seven innings of three-hit ball against Hanshin on March 29, throwing a whopping 136 pitches, but it was a no-decision.바카라사이트

Imanaga has been hitting for power over the last three seasons. In 2021, he batted 2-for-7 (10-for-37) with three RBIs, and last year he batted 1-for-18 (7-for-38) with four RBIs. This year, he is batting 2-for-5 (9-for-35) with three RBIs. He’s also been hot with the bat, going 4-for-9 with four RBIs in scoring position.

In March, Imanaga pitched the second game of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) between Japan and South Korea, behind starter Darvish Yu, and earned the win with three innings of three-hit ball (one home run) with two strikeouts and one walk. In the final against the United States, Imanaga pitched two innings of four-hit ball, striking out two and walking one to help Japan win the WBC title.


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