The Japanese APBC team played their first exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball. Chihiro Sumida (Seibu), who is expected to start against South Korea, pitched a no-hitter.
The Japanese APBC team, led by head coach Hirokazu Ibata, lost 0-1 in an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants in Miyazaki, Japan, on Tuesday. “The pitchers threw their pitches to some extent. We saw the combination of the batters,” Ibata said.토토사이트
Right-hander Yuji Akahoshi (Yomiuri) was the starting pitcher for the Japanese APBC team in the exhibition game. Japanese media reported that Akahoshi is the favorite to start the first game against Chinese Taipei on April 16. Akahoshi allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts in three innings against his Yomiuri teammate. He was hit by back-to-back singles in the third inning and gave up a walk with two outs.
Left-hander Sumida started the second game. He threw 30 pitches in two innings, allowing one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. He led off the fourth inning with a double, but got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout. In the fifth, he struck out three.
Another left-hander, Takahisa Hayakawa (Rakuten), came on in the sixth and pitched three innings of two-hit ball, striking out one and walking none. Rikuto Yokohama (Chiba Lotte) came on in the ninth and pitched a perfect inning with two strikeouts.
The Japanese APBC team started with the following lineup: Kyota Fujiwara (left fielder), Yuki Okabayashi (center fielder), Kaito Kozono (second baseman), Shugo Maki (designated hitter), Akihiro Yuto (first baseman), Chusei Mannami (right fielder), Shogo Sakakura (catcher), Makoto Kadokimakoto (shortstop), and Nomura (third baseman). The starting lineup was not a full complement, as Hanshin batters who finished the Japan Series were not available for evaluation.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second, Maki, the No. 4 hitter, grounded out to the second baseman to end the threat. In the second inning, back-to-back singles put runners on second and third with one out, but No. 1 Fujiwara was thrown out at first base.
In the ninth, Yomiuri reached on an error by the third baseman to lead off the inning, and two batters later, Mannami singled to left and Yuto Koga drew a walk to load the bases, but Kadoki was thrown out at the plate in left field for the 0-1 loss.
Japanese media reported that “Akahoshi hit 150 km/h in his first start in about a month,” and that Akahoshi “threw with good tempo. I was happy to throw all my pitches.”
Prior to the evaluation, Korean APBC National Team QC Coach Lee Jin-young watched the game and analyzed the Japanese team’s performance. According to local media, Coach Lee singled out left-handed pitchers Sumida and Hayakawa for their no-hitters, saying, “Left-handed pitchers are good. Hayakawa, Sumida, and Imai are good. Japan has good pitchers,” he said, adding that he was wary.
Tatsuya Imai (Seibu), who made the team as a wild card, is the favorite to start the final, according to Japanese media. Imai joined Seibu in the first round of the 2016 Nippon Professional Baseball Draft and is 38-32 with a 3.69 ERA in 110 career games. In 19 appearances this season, he is 10-5 with a 2.30 ERA.
“It’s a one-shot game,” said Sumida, who is expected to start against South Korea on Sunday. I want to get better,” he said. Sumida was drafted by Seibu in the first round of the 2021 Rookie Draft. Last year, Sumida went 1-10 with a 3.75 ERA. This year, he went 9-10 with a 3.44 ERA in 22 appearances. He also had two complete games.