No hits in 11 consecutive at-bats in the opening three games, 1319 strikeouts, Yomiuri’s most tie, face-saving Sakamoto deepening sluggishness
Hayato Sakamoto (35), the main shortstop for the Yomiuri Giants, stood shoulder to shoulder with Sadaharu Oh (CEO of the Softbank Hawks), the “legend” who hit the most homers in the history of Japanese professional baseball. However, it is not a pleasant record. It is the most strikeouts for the Yomiuri club.
Sakamoto played as shortstop in the sixth match against the Chunichi Dragons held at the Tokyo Dome on the 2nd, and struck out on a swing in the first at-bat in the second inning. In the ball count 2B2S, Chunichi starting pitcher Yuji Fukutani threw a 147km/h fastball into the outer low course and the bat pierced the air. His 1319th strikeout in his 17th year as a pro. It is equal to Oh Sadaharu’s record of 868 homers in his career. 메이저놀이터
In 14 exhibition games, the batting average was 101.10. The extreme sluggishness continued into the regular season.
Sakamoto, who struck out in the second inning, struck out in the fifth inning. He made a sacrifice bunt in the 7th inning, and retired with a fly ball to right field in the 8th. No hit in 3 at-bats.
11 at bats, no hits in 10 at bats in the opening three games. In the opening game on the 31st, he recorded a straight hit to third base, a standing strikeout, a fly ball to right field, and a fly ball to left field. In the game on the 1st, he withdrew with a standing strikeout, a swing strikeout, and a shortstop ground ball.
In the 7th inning when the score was tied 1-1, Sakamoto put a bunt from 1st and 2nd base. It is said to be the first sacrifice bunt in 557 days since the Hiroshima Carp game on September 22, 2021. It is a bunt caused by poor hitting. After this bunt, Yomiuri scored one point. won 3-2. After losing in the ninth inning in the opening game, they won two consecutive victories.
There are four players, including Sakamoto, who failed to hit even after playing full-time in the opening three games.
Sakamoto, the leading player of Yomiuri, only played 83 games last year due to an injury. He had the fewest appearances since 2008, when he established himself as a starter. A sex scandal broke out and his image was greatly damaged. Due to the sluggish performance and the generational change of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, he was eliminated from the Japanese national team.