Best pitcher in Japan for 2 years in a row, worst 4 runs allowed, 3 losses… but still wins + ERA 1.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), the reigning Nippon Professional Baseball champion for the second straight year, suffered his worst loss of the season.

Yamamoto took the loss against the SoftBank Hawks at the PAY PAY Dome in Fukuoka, Japan, on Wednesday, giving up four runs on eight hits and six walks while throwing 101 pitches over six innings.

The Orioles fell to 1-7. The four runs were Yamamoto’s most of the season. He had two three-run outings. Yamamoto improved to 6-3 with a 1.98 ERA in 10 starts this season, up from 1.59.

Yamamoto is tied for first in wins, and there are six pitchers with six wins. Right behind him are eight pitchers with five wins. Teammate Sunpeita Yamashita, who hasn’t pitched a regulation inning, leads the way with a 1.51 ERA. Nihon Ham’s Suzuki is also a contender with a 1.55 ERA. He is third in the division with 74 strikeouts.

Yamamoto had a shaky start to the game. In the top of the first inning, the Orix took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff solo home run by Tomoya Mori.스포츠토토

However, Yamamoto quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning. He gave up a single to left to top hitter Akira Nakamura. Daisei Makihara grounded out to shortstop and Gensuke Kondo grounded out to second to load the bases with two outs. Yuki Yanagita singled up the middle to tie the game at 1-1.

He then gave up a single to Ryoya Kurihara to put runners on second and third, but got his first strikeout to end the inning. He struggled in the first inning, throwing 35 pitches.

Yamamoto with runners on second and third in the first inning. / Sportshochi Homepage

The second inning was no different. Genta Imamiya led off with a single to left. After a strikeout, he gave up a double to left to Takuya Kai, putting runners on second and third.

Nakamura singled to right, scoring one run, and then Makihara doubled to left with runners on first and third. The score was now 1-3. With runners on first and second and one out, Gondo singled to center field to score a fourth run. He struck out Yanagita at second base to end the inning.

Yamamoto allowed just one hit and no runs from the third through the sixth innings. The third inning ended with a triple play on a grounder to first base, a fly ball to center field, and a swinging strikeout. In the fourth, all three outs were recorded on fly balls. Two batters later, Nakamura singled to right, but Makihara flied out to center. The fifth and sixth innings ended with back-to-back strikeouts.

Sportshochi wrote, “Yamamoto gave up a season-worst four runs for his third loss. Yamamoto’s winning streak and SoftBank’s winning streak were stopped at five.” It was good to overcome the early deficit and go at least five innings for the 100th consecutive game.

In his postgame interview, Yamamoto said, “I have to reflect. I kept giving up runs because I was hit by balls that were easy to hit. I’m disappointed in myself,” Yamamoto shook his head.

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