Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 25, 온라인바카라 was pulled after five innings for the first time this season. He allowed three runs (unearned) in five innings in a start against the SoftBank Hawks at Kyocera Dome in Osaka on July 17. It was his fifth loss in 17 starts this year. It was his shortest inning of the season. In each of his previous regular-season starts, he also took the mound in the sixth inning.

Down 1-0 in the top of the third inning, an error allowed a run to score.

He gave up an infield single to leadoff hitter Masaki Mimori. Daisei Makihara then reached on a fielding error to put runners on first and second. He then struck out Yuto Yanagita (#3) and Gensuke Kondo (#4) in succession. Yanagita got a 153-mile-per-hour fastball and Gondo induced a wild swing with a curveball.

It looked like it was going to be a no-hitter, but it wasn’t.

A walk to Akira Nakamura, No. 5, loaded the bases. Back-to-back singles to Tatsuru Yanagimachi and Genta Imamiya. Two runs scored.

With a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning, they added another run. Allowed seven hits and three walks in the fifth inning. Threw 110 pitches and struck out five.

SoftBank starter Kohei Aihara earned the win after allowing two runs on eight hits in eight innings. He threw 113 pitches. He has faced Yamamoto four times this season, winning three of those starts.

Oryx ace Yamamoto. Photo credit: Orix Buffaloes Social Media
Three of his five wins in his return to the majors this season have come against Yamamoto. On July 25, he tossed a nine-inning no-hitter against Yamamoto. That time, Yamamoto gave up three runs (two earned) in 7⅔ innings and took the loss. At this point, it’s safe to say they’re nemeses.

Aihara returned to Japan last winter after a stint in the major leagues with the Nippon Ham Fighters. This time, he wore a SoftBank uniform instead of the Nippon Ham uniform he started his professional career in. He signed a three-year, 1.2 billion yen contract. In 10 games, Aihara is 5-3 with a 2.49 ERA. He was strong against the Orix with a 1.50 ERA.

“I was shaky in the beginning, but my pitches went in. I was able to throw the ball with a good feeling.”

Yamamoto is arguably the best pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball. Through 16 days, he has an 11-5 record with a 1.50 ERA.

Oryx ace Yamamoto. Photo credit: Oryx Buffaloes SNS
He leads the league in wins and ERA. He is aiming to win four pitching titles for the third consecutive year. He is second in winning percentage and second in strikeouts.

However, he has the jinx of struggling against SoftBank’s Aihara.

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