Akinori Sasaki, “The Monster of 2025,” a baseball legend analyzes his impressive pitching! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Akinori Sasaki, “The Monster of 2025,” a baseball legend analyzes his impressive pitching!

The record is full of records, including 19 strikeouts in a single game, including 13 in a row, and the fastest and youngest player in history to achieve a perfect game.

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Sasaki at the moment he decided to play a perfect game. This was Sasaki’s first professional complete game, but it was also the first time in history that he pitched a complete game for the first time.

I was watching the game live on the Internet. I was watching the game live on the Internet and thought he was going to improve his strikeout record, but I didn’t think he would make it to a perfect game. He is growing and improving, so I am looking forward to seeing him more and more every day.

On April 10, Roki Sasaki (20) of the Lotte baseball team pitched a perfect game against the Orix. It was the first time in 28 years since Hiroki Makihara (58) of the Giants achieved the feat in 1994. In addition to being the youngest (20 years and 5 months) and fastest (14th professional game) to complete a perfect game, he also struck out 13 consecutive batters (a new professional baseball record) and struck out 19 batters in a single game (a professional baseball tie), making it a record-setting performance.

A reporter for this magazine was present at the scene. The sun was shining like summer at ZOZO Marine Stadium, although a cool breeze was blowing in from time to time. I hope he can at least pitch a complete game,” they said to each other in a lighthearted tone.

The atmosphere changed in the seventh inning. The first batter, Shunta Goto (29), was forced to work a tough 3-ball, 0-strike count, but got out of it with a right-fly single. He then got Breyvic Barrera (30) to ground out to second and Masataka Yoshida (28), a good hitter, to strike out the third batter with a straight ball at 163 km/h. The seats began to get a little tense.

Six more! When the reporter went to the restroom in the bottom of the 8th inning, the aisles and concession stands were almost empty. It was clear that no one wanted to leave their seats to watch the historic scene.

The ninth inning was an odd atmosphere. The crowd cheered loudly after each pitch, and the buzz didn’t die down for a while. Some yelled “You’re not going to make it,” while others yelled “You’re not going to make it. However, when Sasaki finished off Lao with an impressive three-pitch strikeout, the stadium cheered loudly and, above all, applauded Sasaki with thunderous applause.

After the game, in his hero interview, Sasaki said, “To be honest, I wasn’t really thinking about it (the perfect game). A chuckle rose from the audience.

Lotte alumnus Shoroku Yagisawa, 77, who pitched a perfect game in 1973, paid tribute to Sasaki.

In my case, the seventh and ninth innings were the most difficult. I was so disappointed. Sasaki, too, was the only batter that day with a 3-ball, 0-strike count in the top of the 7th inning. In the 9th inning, I was so nervous that my heart leaped out of my mouth because of the intense pressure. In contrast, Sasaki pitched a magnificent 9th inning. I think that is quite impressive for such a young pitcher.

Sasaki has long been praised for his talent and potential. But how was he able to accomplish such a feat at such a young age? Baseball commentator Kazuhiko Ushijima (61), an ex-Lotte player, tells us.

Of course, he throws a tremendous ball, with a straight line that reaches a maximum speed of 164 km/h and a fork that is in the low 140 km/h range. Especially with his fork, he uses an advanced technique of shooting it to left-handed batters and sliding it to right-handed batters. In addition, the best thing about Sasaki is that he improves every time he throws. In this year’s open games, there were pitches that sometimes floated high, but on this day there were fewer of them. His fork, which often went off the ball in the early spring, was very sharp.

Only three pitchers in history have achieved both a perfect game and a no-hit no-run game, and no one has ever achieved a perfect game twice. However, I can’t help but feel that Sasaki could easily accomplish both.

After the game, Sasaki responds to the cheers by waving to the audience. This is the first time he has struck out in a complete game.

From the April 29, 2022 issue of FRIDAY

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