Shota Imanaga, 30, of the Yokohama DeNA BayStars, who won the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final, pitched an incredible game.
Imanaga started the game against the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, on March 7 and pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, striking out 15 and allowing one run.
One of Japan’s leading left-handed aces, Imanaga represented Japan at the WBC in March, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three games (six innings). In the championship game against the United States, he started and earned the win with two innings of four-hit ball (one home run), two strikeouts and one run allowed.
Imanaga is now 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 games (79 innings) this season. He struck out a whopping 15 batters and shut down the Yomiuri offense, except for a solo home run to Kazuma Okamoto, who played with him on the WBC team in the second inning.스포츠토토
Japanese media outlet Nikkan Sports said, “Imanaga put on a spectacular strikeout show. He struck out a career-high seven batters in a row and tied the franchise record with 15 strikeouts. He also took to heart the advice of teammate Trevor Bauer, who threw a complete game victory on the sixth,” highlighting Imanaga’s performance.
Trevor Bauer, who won the National League Cy Young Award in 2020, was effectively banned from Major League Baseball in 2021 due to sexual assault allegations. After missing last season, Bauer signed with Yokohama this season to play in Nippon Professional Baseball. His record this season is 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 games (66⅓ innings).
“Bauer uses the angle of his hip and gravity to throw,” says Imanaga. I think it’s really cool that he can answer questions about pitching right away. I also threw with a deeper hip angle. I was trying to create restraint rather than pitching mechanics. I don’t know if it was a good pitch, but I was able to throw the ball fast,” he said of Bauer’s advice.
“I’m throwing with the mindset that if Bauer wins, I win,” Imanaga laughed. Bauer took the mound against Jakult Swallows on the 7th, throwing a whopping 128 pitches over nine innings, allowing four hits, seven walks, three strikeouts, and two runs. Imanaga continued the team’s winning streak the next day.