One-two punch in WBC win…Sasaki 161km-Yamamoto 154km in one-inning no-hitter relay at All-Star Game

Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Oryx) 토토사이트tossed back-to-back one-hit shutouts in the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star Game.

The Pacific League All-Stars defeated the Central League All-Stars in game one of the Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star Game at the Banterrin Dome in Nagoya, Japan, on 19 September. They scored four runs on four consecutive hits in the first inning en route to an 8-1 victory.

Sasaki, voted No. 1 in the fan vote for pitcher, started for the Pacific League and pitched one inning of one-hit ball with two strikeouts.

Sasaki struck out the first batter he faced, Takumu Takano (Hanshin), on a 141km forkball. Akiyama Shogo (Hiroshima) followed with a 138km slider for a swinging strikeout. He threw a 161km fastball to foreign player Noiji (Hanshin), but allowed a single up the middle. With two on and one out, he got Yusuke Oyama (Hanshin) to ground out to third base with a 156km fastball to end the inning.

“I threw all my pitches with the intention of striking out, but it didn’t work out,” Sasaki said, “I thought they were looking for fastballs, so I threw a lot of changeups.”

Sasaki threw 18 pitches on the day, including two over 160km. His fastball topped out at 161. Sasaki threw a fastball up to 162 kilometres in last year’s All-Star Game, tying Shohei Ohtani’s 162 kilometres with Nippon Ham for the longest fastball by a Japanese pitcher in an All-Star Game. The previous record for the fastest fastball in a Japanese All-Star Game, including foreign players, was 163 km by Vieira (Yomiuri) in 2021.
]Following Sasaki, Yamamoto took the mound in the second inning. He struck out the first batter, Central League home run leader Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri), with a 154km fastball to right field.

He gave up a 152km fastball to Teruaki Sato (Hanshin) for a double that hit the fence in the centre of the plate. With the bases loaded, he struck out Seiya Hosokawa (Junichi) with a 124km curveball. He then struck out Ryutaro Umeno (Hanshin) on a 152km fastball to first base with two outs to end the inning.

The Pacific League All-Star was replaced in the third inning by Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten), who has 195 career wins in the U.S. Major Leagues and Nippon Professional Baseball. He got a grounder to shortstop, a line drive to shortstop and a strikeout to end the inning.

In the fourth inning, 42-year-old Hiroshi Wada (SoftBank) took the mound and pitched a scoreless inning against the Central League’s third through fifth centres with a fly ball to right field, a foul fly to the catcher and a strikeout.

The All-Star Game Game 1 MVP was Yuki Yanagita (SoftBank), who went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a double, a home run and two RBIs. Yanagita became the first player since Hideki Matsui (1998, 1999) to win back-to-back All-Star Game MVP honours.

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