Orix’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto (23) won the titles with the most wins, the best ERA, the most strikes, and the highest win rate last season, and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP). He freely manipulates a straight ball approaching 160 kg and a forkball in the latter half of the 140 kg range to twist the batter. Following Yamamoto who has grown into an ace representing the ball world this season, he explores the source of his leap.
Lotte game on the 9th. When I went up to the mound of Kobe, I was able to beat the opponent’s batter with various types of pitches.
The stadium boiled in four consecutive strikeouts. In the 5th inning, Yamaguchi was decided by a forkball, Fujioka by a straight ball, Sato Miyako by a curve, and Ogino by a fork in the 6th inning. 11 strikeouts, the most this season. There were three straight balls and three forks, one slider, and the most common curve was “the brakes worked better than usual.” With one goal in the 8th inning, he scored his ninth win at the top of the league.
A straight ball always exceeds 150 km. A cut ball that bends a little and removes the core of the bat is about 150 kg. It is difficult to distinguish it from a fastball. Forks in the latter half of the 140km range, curves over 120km are added here, and two seams and sliders are also thrown. It has both speed and control, which is really troublesome for the batter.
It was a play that started in elementary school that revealed “maybe” the reason why he could manipulate the changing ball skillfully. He said he used to play baseball with soft balls and ping-pong balls.
The teaching material was a TV broadcast of high school baseball at Koshien. Watching the slow play, I tried it with a wall pad that said, “I did it alone,” referring to the form and how to hold the ball. He threw a curve for the first time in a junior high school game, followed by a slider.
Fork was taught by my seniors when I was in the first year of Miyakonojo High School. “It changed a little at first. I was able to use it in the game, so when I was throwing it, I felt like I was dropping it, and finally it became a fork (a ball that can be called),” he recalls. I learned the cut after I became a professional. By incorporating the “Javelin Throw” competition, which is similar to the javelin throw on land, into his practice, he was able to use his body differently than before and made it his own.
The newest ball type is two seams. It was triggered by watching a TV program explained by Randy Johnson, a left-handed man who won a total of 303 wins in the US Major League Baseball. The next day, he threw it and said, “I have some practice, but I’m about to be thrown.”
Two seams are also one of our strengths. At first, the change was small, but it gradually began to fall, and it was possible to strike out. “When counting, throw strongly even if the change is small, and after driving in, go to get a missed swing.”
The fastball measured 159km, which was the fastest in the game on the 9th. Any type of pitch is a first-class product and can be used as a game ball. Even so, I am not satisfied with the current situation, saying that I can still improve my level. (Posted from time to time, Togo Kadowaki)
Willingness to play a perfect game
I got a new medal. It is a no-hit no-run match that was achieved in the Seibu match on June 18.
The voltage of the stadium, which has risen to a great achievement, has risen further with this one ball.
Nine times one death, with a pinch hitter forest Confrontation .. The deciding ball was the fastball that “practiced with the utmost care”. The 98th ball was controlled with a low outside angle like pulling a thread, marking the fastest 155km of the day. The forest, which has a full swing, doesn’t move at all. He overlooked and struck out.
After the match, he said, “I wasn’t too tired and was thrown comfortably. Even if I was told to throw it again, I could throw it.” The runner who forgave was one of the walks given to him five times. He said, “I might be able to do it if I can keep throwing in today’s game and the feelings before the game,” he said.