Monster pitcher’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto (25, Orix Buffaloes), who is aiming to become the first Japanese professional baseball (NPB) player to win four crowns for three consecutive years, is attempting another all-time record.
Yamamoto earned his 15th win (6 losses) of the season against the Seibu Lions on the 24th, allowing 3 hits, 10 strikeouts, and no runs in 7 innings. Yamamoto, who won 18 wins in 2021 and 15 wins in 2022, succeeded in achieving 15 wins for three consecutive years. This is a record 14 years after Yu Darvish레고토토 (San Diego Padres) recorded 15 wins for three consecutive years from 2007 to 2009 (15 wins – 16 wins – 15 wins) during his time in NPB.
As a result of this day’s game, Yamamoto ranked first in the Pacific League in four major categories of pitcher records, including most wins (15 wins), ERA (1.26), winning percentage (0.714), and strikeouts (158). Yamamoto, who has already won four gold medals as a pitcher for two consecutive years for the first time in history from 2021 to 2022, is aiming to win four gold medals for an unprecedented third consecutive year. In addition, he is attempting to sweep the Pacific League MVP award, which he won for two consecutive years (2021-2022), and the Sawamura Award, the best pitcher award, for the third consecutive year.
In addition, Yamamoto is challenging the all-time ERA record. Yamamoto pitched in 8 games and 56 innings since August, recording only 2 earned runs. Yamamoto’s ERA, which was 1.78 until July, has already fallen to 1.26. At his current pace, Yamamoto is on pace to record the lowest ERA in NPB in the 21st century.
According to the Japanese media ‘Full Count’, the pitcher with the lowest ERA in the 21st century in NPB until last year was Masahiro Tanaka (Rakuten Golden Eagles). Tanaka recorded 19 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 1.27 in 2011, and two years later, in 2013, he recorded 24 wins, no losses, and once again recorded an average ERA of 1.27. Currently, Yamamoto is recording an ERA that is lower than that of Tanaka, who showed overwhelming performance.
Yamamoto plans to challenge the major leagues through the posting system after this season. Many major league teams are already showing interest in Yamamoto, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman had an intuition when he achieved a no-hitter on the 9th. Attention is focused on what kind of great records Yamamoto, who is spending his final season in NPB ahead of advancing to the big leagues, will create in the remaining games.