Nippon Ham’s Nemoto, who pitched from the 6th inning, became the winning pitcher with two perfect innings.
On the 16th, Japan’s national baseball team “Samurai Japan” achieved a shutout victory over Chinese Taipei 4-0 at the “Car Next Asian Professional Baseball Championship 2023.” The relay started with five pitchers, but the one that really stood out was pitcher Yukaede Nemoto (Nippon-Ham), who was third and threw 24 pitches in two innings, keeping him scoreless.
Nemoto, who took the mound in the 6th inning with the score 0-0, struck out the leadoff Lin with all his fastballs, and then struck out Guo again with a slider. They got through the No. 5 hitter Ryu with a right-handed fly to three batters, and in the 7th inning, outfielder Shota Morishita (Hanshin) took the lead with a solo over the left field. On the other hand, he was able to hold down three batters and become the winning pitcher. He threw a fastball and a fork ball for right-handed batters, and a slider for left-handed batters, giving them no chance to take advantage of him.
Nemoto, a third-year pitcher, pitched in five games this season. He had a record of 3 wins, 1 loss, and an ERA of 2.88. Although his pitching numbers have decreased since last season, his strikeout rate of 8.28 and WHIP of 1.04 are higher than last season’s numbers. Manager Hirokazu Ibata has been watching Nemoto pitch since the regular season.
“Even if you watch the regular season, from the start to the first turn, the opposing batters can barely make a move.” “His body turn speed is such that in the first match, he will surely suppress the first turn.” . That’s why he felt safe sending him to the second starting lineup.
On the other hand, there are also challenges. “I tended to get caught a little bit in the second, fourth or fifth round.” The reason is physical strength. “His sharpness has dropped a little.” He has been hit hard by his lack of sharpness and speed on the ball.
Conversely, Director Ibata feels that if this issue can be overcome, the team will be able to compete at even higher stages. “He’s still young, so I think he can become a pitcher that represents Japan if he improves his physical strength and pitches long innings.” He has high expectations.
There are many good left-handed pitchers in this tournament, including Yakult’s guardian pitcher Reito Taguchi, pitcher Tomoichiro Sumida (Seibu) who won nine games this season, and pitcher Takahisa Hayakawa who won 20 games in his three years as a pro at Rakuten. It may not be long before the 20-year-old from Hokkaido makes an impact that surprises the Japanese baseball world.