‘Monster’ Sasaki, 164 km did not work ‘3 stores of shock against Mexico allowed’
‘Monster’ Sasaki Loki (22, Chiba Lotte Marines) allowed 3 shocking points in the match against Mexico. His highest speed was up to 102 miles (about 164 km), but in the 4th inning, a misplaced pitch was driven to the middle, leading to a painful home run.
Sasaki started on the 21st (Korean time) 바카라in the quarterfinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) with the Mexican baseball team held at Rondipo Park in Miami, Florida, USA, 5 hits (1 home run), 3 strikeouts and 3 runs in 4 innings ( 3 earned). His total number of pitches was 64.
Earlier, Japan defeated Italy in the second round (quarterfinals) and advanced to the semifinals. Mexico advanced to the semifinals with a thrilling 5-4 come-from-behind victory over Puerto Rico.
Sasaki is regarded as the ace responsible for the future of Japanese baseball. In particular, on April 10 last year, he achieved his perfect game and drew a lot of attention. He did not allow a single hit and four walks against the Orix at the time. He struck out 13 batters in a row, striking out 19 times. In the end, he became the youngest (20 years and 5 months old) perfect game protagonist in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) history.
In this WBC tournament, he also had a power struggle. In the first round of Tokyo last year, he started against the Czech Republic and recorded 2 hits and 1 run in 3⅔ innings (visa book) and 8 strikeouts. It was his successful international debut.
In the semifinal match against Mexico that day, Sasaki threw a lot of fastballs. He also had a good pace in the beginning. Sasaki: Arosarena (left fielder) – Verdugo (right fielder) – Menes (1st baseman) – Tellez (designated hitter) – Paredes (3rd baseman) – Urias (2nd baseman) – Trejo (shortstop) – Thomas (Center fielder) – Barnes (catcher) faced the Mexican batting order that followed.
From the first inning, he showed off a fastball with a maximum speed of 102 miles (about 164 km), putting the Mexican line to rest. In the top of the first inning, he struck out Arosarena, the lead hitter, and struck out Verdugo in left field. Then, Menes was struck out with a knockout, and the first inning was neatly finished.
In the second inning, after catching Telez, the lead batter, with a shortstop ground ball, Paredes allowed a hit to left center. Then, after hitting Sasaki in the abdomen, Yurias’ ball hit Sasaki’s abdomen and led to an infield hit that refracted, leading to 1 out 1 and 2 base. However, he induced Trejo to double-stroke in front of the shortstop and finished the second inning without conceding a run. The third time was also a three-way offense. Thomas was out with a grounder on first base, Barnes with a grounder on third base, and Arosarena with a straight hit to first baseman.
Sasaki, who used to throw well, was shaken in the fourth inning. In the top of the 4th inning, both teams were tied 0-0. He struck out Verdugo on a swing and caught Menes with a floating ball in left field, filling two out counts. However, he gave up a left-handed hit to Telles and a hit that went beyond the height of third baseman to Paredes, and he was quickly driven to the first and second base crisis.
Here, he lowered his head after getting hit by a three-run gun that went over the left fence from the follow-up, Yurias. With a ball count of 0-1, the second pitched forkball (145km) was driven to the middle, and Yurias properly kicked it and connected it to a home run. It was finally here. In the beginning of the 5th inning, when the team fell behind 0-3, the Japanese bench put Sasaki on the mound instead of Sasaki, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25, Orix), the protagonist of the 2021-2022 Pitcher Triple Crown and the Sawamura Award.
‘Monster’ Sasaki Loki (22, Chiba Lotte Marines) allowed 3 shocking points in the match against Mexico. His highest speed was up to 102 miles (about 164 km), but in the 4th inning, a misplaced pitch was driven to the middle, leading to a painful home run. Sasaki started on the 21st (Korean time) 바카라in the quarterfinals…