The Japanese baseball team, which throws fastballs and hits fast balls every day at the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic), is gathering a lot of attention in the United States, the homeland of baseball. In particular, interest in Otani Shohei and Sasaki Loki is hot. 

The Japanese baseball team, led by coach Hideki Kuriyama, won 9-3 in the quarterfinals against 2023 WBC Italy held at Tokyo Dome, Japan on the 16th and won a ticket to the semifinals. Japan went on a flight to Miami, the U.S., where the semifinals will be held, with 5 wins and undefeated, winning all 4 matches in the first round Group B group stage and ending with a victory in the quarterfinals.

The protagonist of the semifinals was Ohtani, who also introduced manga baseball as a two-hitter in the Japanese national team. He started in the opening match against China in the first round and against Italy the day before and showed good pitching with an average ERA of 2.08, 10 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.69 in two games, two wins, and 10 strikeouts. It showed off the destructive power of OPS 1.438. He was like a player who won the major league MVP with a double job as a pitcher. 

Sasaki appeared only in the first round match against the Czech Republic, but that one match caught the world’s attention. He started against the Czech Republic on the 11th and recorded a maximum speed of 164 km, leaving a strong impact with 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 1 run in 3⅔ innings. 

Sasaki is a top-class prospect who has been attracting attention since high school when he threw a fastball that exceeded 160 km. On April 10, the second year of his debut in Nippon Professional Baseball, he became the youngest player in NPB (20 years and 5 months) to achieve a perfect game, and in the process set a phenomenal milestone of striking out 19 in one game and striking out 13 consecutive batters. 메이저사이트

David Adler, who is in charge of the major league statistical analysis system ‘Statcast’, paid homage to Ohtani and Sasaki’s performance through his SNS. 

The match that Adler paid attention to was against the Czech Republic on the 11th, in which Ohtani was designated hitter No. 3 and Sasaki was the starting pitcher. He said, “Sasaki threw a fastball of 101.9 miles (164 km) at the maximum, and Ohtani threw a batted ball of 118.7 miles (191 km) to create a double.” I have never seen in the major leagues that a hitter who throws a ball and a fast batting ball are active at the same time,” he said with his tongue. 

Adler did not stop there, but showed great interest in pitchers Ohtani and Sasaki by producing a comparison video in which they threw a 102 mph (164 km) fastball. 

Meanwhile, on the 21st (Korean time), Japan will play the semi-final against the winner of the quarterfinal match against Puerto Rico and Mexico at Londipor Park in Miami, Florida, USA. 

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