By Oh Sang-jin Reporter= Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25-Oryx Buffaloes), the “monster pitcher” who is trying to become the first pitcher in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) history to win four titles in three consecutive years, will attempt another record-breaking feat.
Yamamoto earned his 15th win of the season on April 24 against the Seibu Lions with seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out 10 and walking none. After winning 18 games in 2021 and 15 in 2022, Yamamoto reached 15 wins for the third straight year. This is the first time in 14 years that Darvish Yu (San Diego Padres) won 15 games in three consecutive years in the NPB from 2007-2009 (15-16-15).
With his performance, Yamamoto now leads the Pacific League in four major pitching categories: wins (15), ERA (1.26), winning percentage (0.714), and strikeouts (158). Having already earned the first back-to-back Pitcher of the Year honors in 2021 and 2022, Yamamoto is looking to make it an unprecedented third consecutive year. He’s also looking to win the Pacific League MVP award for the second straight year (2021-2022) and the Sawamura Award for best pitcher for the third straight year.
Not only that, but Yamamoto is also trying to break the all-time ERA record. In his eight starts since August, Yamamoto has allowed just two earned runs in 56 innings pitched. His ERA, which was 1.78 through July, is now down to 1.26. At his current pace, Yamamoto is on pace to have the lowest ERA in NPB in the 21st century.
Until last year, the pitcher with the lowest ERA in NPB in the 21st century was Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles), according to Japanese publication Full Count. Tanaka went 19-5 with a 1.27 ERA in 2011, and two years later in 2013, he went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA again. Currently, Yamamoto’s ERA is lower than Tanaka’s, even with his dominant performances.바카라
After this season, Yamamoto plans to try his hand at the major leagues through the posting system. Many major league clubs have already expressed interest in Yamamoto, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had a hunch when he threw a no-hitter on the 9th. It will be interesting to see what he can do in his final season in NPB before heading to the big leagues.