Japan’s ‘monster pitcher’ Sasaki Loki (22, Chiba Lotte) recorded 165 km/h. It is the same speed as the highest velocity by a Japanese pitcher in the Japanese professional baseball, recorded by Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels), a “baseball genius”, in 2016 during his Nippon Ham days.
Sasaki, who is on the schedule for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) Japanese national team, started in a practice game against Chunichi held at Vantelin Dome (formerly Nagoya Dome) on the 4th, and Chunichi foreign batter Akino 29, Dominican Republic) threw a fastball at 165 km/h. The ball was 1km faster than Sasaki’s previous best speed. When the speed of 165 km per hour was recorded on the screen, 46,000 people who filled the stadium were agitated, and Ohtani, who was watching the scene from the dugout, smiled strangely. 안전놀이터
In the ball count of 2 balls and 1 strike, the ball thrown by Sasaki hit the middle of the strike zone, but Japan national team catcher Guy Takuya (31, Softbank) failed to catch it and bounced to the ground. After the game, Guy said, “The ball was so great that I couldn’t catch it.”
Sasaki helped the Japanese national team win 4-1 by recording three scoreless innings that day. His fast balls (36) averaged 161.1 km/h, and his forkballs (16) also averaged 146.3 km/h. Last year, the average fastball in Korean professional baseball was 144 km/h.
MLB.com, the official American professional baseball major league (MLB) media, introduced the scene where Sasaki threw 165 km/h and said, “Korea and Japan will face each other on the 10th. The confrontation between Lee Jeong-hoo (25, Kiwoom) and Sasaki deserves to be considered a “dream match-up” in this tournament.” In Japan, Sasaki is expected to pitch against the Czech Republic rather than Korea.