‘ERA 8.57→3.12 after trade’ Transformed Japanese pitcher’s 165km fastball bangs new history

Shintaro Fujinami (Baltimore Orioles) recorded a staggering 165 km/h fastball.

Fujinami pitched one inning of scoreless baseball with two strikeouts in the top of the eighth inning against the New York Mets at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on Sunday (July 7).

Baltimore had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jorge Mateo tripled with the bases loaded. Adley Rutchman followed with an RBI grounder to third base to score the go-ahead run.

Baltimore extended its lead in the bottom of the seventh. James McCann doubled and Ryan McKenna singled to put runners on first and third. Ryan O’Hearn hit a grounder to the second baseman. McKenna was thrown out at first, but McCann came home on the play.

With a 2-0 lead, Fujinami took the mound. Fujinami started with a 100.2 mph (161 km/h) four-seam fastball to leadoff hitter Pete Alonso. He then threw two cutters and struck out the side.

The highlight came against the second batter, DJ Stewart. The first pitch was a 101 mph (162 km/h) four-seam fastball high and away. Stewart swung and missed. The second pitch, a 100.8 mph four-seam fastball, took the same course and Stewart swung again. Fujinami opted for a four-seam fastball for the deciding pitch. The third pitch followed the same path, and Stewart swung and missed, striking out for the third time. Fujinami’s three-pitch fastball was clocked at a whopping 102.6 mph (165 km/h). It is the fastest fastball by a Japanese pitcher in the major leagues.

Fujinami then faced Omar Narvaez and threw a 102.3 mph (about 164 km/h) four-seam fastball after 0B2S. Navaez caught it, but retreated to shortstop for a popup. He faced three batters on nine pitches, all for strikes.

After the game, Fujinami said, “I didn’t think much about the situation. I focused on my breathing like my pitching coach told me to,” he said. “I took deep breaths on the mound to calm down, and I attacked the zone, so I focused on those two things.”

Fujinami came to Baltimore via trade from the Oakland Athletics. He pitched a scoreless final three games in July, but was shaky in his first August start against the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing one run (unearned) and three hits in ⅓ of an inning. However, he hasn’t allowed an earned run in two of his three starts against the Mets.

“The game in Toronto didn’t go his way,” Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. He didn’t have command,” Hyde said. “I’m proud of him for wanting to throw the ball again. He wants to be on the mound. That says a lot about him.”메이저놀이터

Fujinami, meanwhile, made his first major league start this season. After struggling in 34 games (seven starts) with Oakland, going 5-8, 3-3 with an 8.57 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 49 1/3 innings with 48 runs (47 earned), he’s improved to 8-8, 3.12 ERA and 1.04 WHIP with four runs (three earned) in 8 1/3 innings with one start in Baltimore.

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