Full steam ahead from the start.
Hanshin Tigers right-hander Shoki Murakami (26) threw a whopping 101 pitches out of the bullpen on Saturday. This is the most pitches thrown by the team since spring training in Okinawa began on the 1st. He threw a fastball, curveball, two-seam, cut fastball, forkball, and changeup. “I wanted to check out my changeup,” he said.
Murakami pitched out of the bullpen on the first day of camp. He took the mound on day one and threw 50 pitches, mixing in his changeup. 바카라사이트 “I’m glad I can throw with good feel,” he said.
It was as if he had been looking forward to the start of spring training.
Murakami was in the bullpen for four consecutive days from April 1-4. On the fourth day, the day before the break, he threw 85 pitches and said, “I feel good.” He threw a total of 231 pitches on days 1-4.
He rested on the fifth and pitched again on the sixth. I threw 332 pitches in five consecutive bullpen outings. This is the kind of schedule that comes from a solid offseason of preparation.
2023 was a season that will be remembered forever for Murakami.
He entered the organization as the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft and flew under the radar. In his rookie season, he pitched just two games and 5⅓ innings. He went 1-0 with a 16.88 ERA. In 2022, his second year in the organization, he didn’t make the first team.
A pitcher who didn’t win a game in two years went on to win Rookie of the Year and MVP last year. He is only the third player in history to win both Rookie of the Year and MVP. Murakami went 10-6 with a 1.75 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) last year. He posted a 1.75 ERA and led the Central League in that category.
With Murakami as their “ace,” Hanshin lifted the Japan Series trophy for the first time in 38 years since 1985. They swept the Orix Buffaloes four games to three in the Kansai Derby. Murakami was matched up against Orix “Super Ace” Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 26, in Game 1 of the Japan Series. He pitched seven shutout innings in an 8-0 victory. For Murakamido and Hanshin, 2023 was their best season yet.
After starting from virtually zero last year, expectations are different this year.
This year, they are preparing with the opening game in mind. Hanshin is scheduled to open the season on March 29 at the Tokyo Dome against the Yomiuri Giants.
Murakami is aiming to win MVP for the second consecutive year, and Hanshin is aiming for a second straight Japan Series title.
There is one more personal goal.
“He did well last year, but I expect him to step up his game this year,” said Japan national team manager Hirokazu Ibata during a visit to Hanshin’s Ginoza, 토토사이트 순위 Okinawa camp. He said he was already at the national team level.
“I want to throw in a national team uniform,” Murakami said.
The Japanese national team is scheduled to play a series of exhibition games against European teams on March 6-7 at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka. The “Premier 12” will be held in November.
Murakami re-signed for 67 million yen, an 857 percent increase from 7 million yen (about $63 million). It is the highest increase in Hanshin’s history.