In the opening two consecutive games, home runs → batting average 0.2028 was relegated, grand slam, tears, and batting order adjustment saved the express rookie

April 27, 2024 | by

Yokohama BayStars outfielder Watarai Ryuki (21) has been making headlines since the exhibition games. A first-nominated rookie with a father who was a former professional baseball player took the top spot in the batting average. He had three hits on the last day of the exhibition game against the Nippon-Ham Fighters, completing the rule. In 16 games, he played, he had 23 hits in 53 times at bat, and posted a batting average of 4.34 percent.

Since the introduction of the rookie draft in 1966, he has become the second rookie player to hit No. 1 in exhibition games. His performance was not as good as expected. He had hits in 17 games as a starter, including practice games with professional teams, and in all games.

Watarai graduated from Yokohama, a prestigious baseball club. He played an active role as a center hitter during his school days, but failed to win a professional title. He was recognized by the pro baseball community and realized his dream as a professional player. His relationship with Ichiro Suzuki, a Japanese baseball legend, became a hot topic of conversation.

Watarai, who started his first season in the first division, created a sensation from the opening series. He started as the first-right fielder and grounded out to the second base in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning. In the bottom of the third inning, when his team was losing 0-3, he hit a tying three-run home run that sparked his team’s victory. With runners on first and second bases with one out, he hit a slider on the right side.

“Homerun is my first hit as a pro. It was a stepping stone to my 4-3 come-from-behind victory.”

The second game of the opening series, which took place on March 30, wowed home fans in Yokohama once again. Watarai, who got on base with a dune in the first inning, had a left-handed hit in the second inning and a two-run homer in the fourth inning. It was a wedge-shaped homer, which completely brought the game to a close at 4-0.
He added a double to the right field in the sixth inning and a double to the right field in the eighth inning. Four hits in four at-bats, two RBIs and one out, and five bases loaded. For the first time in 43 years, a rookie player hit a home run in two consecutive opening games.

The initial craze slowly subsided. The concentration check of the opposing team’s pitchers would have worked. The professional wall was formidable.

Watarai played as the eighth right fielder against the Yomiuri Giants on Wednesday. He played as the first batter in 21 consecutive games since the opening game, before entering the lower batting order for the first time. The batting order was adjusted in consideration of his poor batting performance. The measure was taken to ease the burden.

Before the game, his batting average had fallen to .2 percent. He had a full hit in the second inning against the Yakult Swallows on April 21 and had no hit in 14 consecutive at-bats.

Watarai, who was on the verge of falling below the batting average of 100, shook the Yokohama Stadium once again. On Wednesday, he had three hits including a grand slam. He raised his batting average for this season to 226.

He had consecutive hits in the second and fourth innings, struck out swinging in the seventh inning. Yokohama changed its course in the eighth inning when the team was losing 1-2. The batters exploded fiercely, starting with Masayuki Guwahara, the first batter. Watarai hit a superior home run off left-hander Yuhei Takahashi with the bases loaded with two outs with a 3-2 lead. He targeted a slider which penetrated the low course at the full count.

It was the grand slam that made the team win 7-2. It was the first grand slam by a Yokohama rookie. He hit a two-run homerun against Hiroshima on March 30, and deployed his cannon in 20 games. He had three hits in 10 games.

Japanese media reported that Watarai had tears in his eyes after hitting a home run and bowed his head to the cheering right-field crowd when he defended.

It is said that it is the first time in 51 years that a Yomiuri pitcher gave a grand slam to an opposing rookie.

Coach Daisuke Miura said in an interview after the game, “It was amazing. Watarai had been agonizing a lot these days, but I placed him in the lower batting order to ease the burden.”

In other words, he clearly saw the effect of changing the batting order.

“I came down to No. 8 but nothing has changed. I will play with all my strength,” Watarai said in an interview with the hero that followed after the end of the game.

As of Wednesday, Yokohama had 10 wins, 1 draw and 11 losses, with a winning percentage of 47.6 percent. It ranks fourth among the six Central League teams. 메이저사이트

Meanwhile, Nishidate, the Yomiuri Giants’ rookie pitcher who recorded 10 consecutive games of no loss since the opening game, allowed upsetting and became a losing pitcher. He took the mound in the eighth inning when the team was leading 2-1, allowing three hits and three runs against four batters. He left the mound after garnering one out count, and posted an ERA of 0 to 2.79. With one out and on the second base, he shook his head after being hit by timely hits by Keita Sano and Shugo Markey.


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