Even in high school, they formed a rivalry, but now the gap has widened. Shintaro Fujinami (Oakland Athletics), who was called “Otani’s rival,” is struggling day after day.
On the 9th (hereinafter Korean time)안전놀이터, Fujinami started the game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the ‘2023 Major League’ held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, recording 4 ⅓ innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, 1 walk, 1 strikeout and 5 runs on the mound. came down He was unable to prevent the team’s 0-11 defeat.
For Fujinami, the start itself went smoothly that day. In the first inning, Yandy Diaz was treated as a fly ball in right field, Brandon Lowe was treated as a fly ball in center field, and Randy Arozarena was treated as a fly ball in right field, creating a three-way inning. In the 2nd inning, he hit Wander Franco, Luke Reilly and Isaac Paredes in turn.
In the third inning, he gave up a walk to Francisco Mejia after two outs, but continued cruising by inducing Yandy Diaz to a shortstop ground ball.
However, it creaked as he allowed another walk to leadoff hitter Brandon Lowe in the fourth inning. Arozarena was thrown into right field, but Wander Franco got an infield hit and became 1 out and 1st and 2nd base. He treated Luke Reilly with a grounder and made 2nd, 2nd and 3rd bases, but Isaac Paredes hit 2 RBIs on time and was shaken.
Eventually, in the bottom of the 5th inning, he allowed a ball hit by lead batter Manuel Mago, a walk to Francisco Mejia, and a walk again to Brandon Lowe, bringing the bases loaded crisis to himself and destroying himself. Arozarena scored two runs in a timely manner and conceded an additional run.
In the end, Fujinami could not hold on any longer and came down the mound, but follow-up pitcher Sam Moll also gave up four balls in a row and conceded an additional run. Fujinami’s runs increased to 5 points.
On this day, Fujinami had no problems with speed, including 31 four-seams that reached a maximum of 99.3 miles (159.8 km) and 20 forkballs that reached a maximum of 96.6 miles (155.4 km). He used 19 sliders, 6 sweepers, 2 curveballs and 1 sinker. However, out of 79 balls, 40 strikes and 39 balls were serious. He had an earned run average of 17.55 for the season.
In high school, Fujinami was called Ohtani’s rival, and since 2013, he has won double-digit wins for three consecutive years with the Nippon Professional Baseball Hanshin Tigers. However, in terms of baseball, the problem of ball control was chronic, and his growth was stagnant as noise constantly occurred in his personal life outside of baseball.
However, last year, 16 games, 66⅔ innings, 3 wins, 5 losses, an average ERA of 3.38, and 65 strikeouts showed the possibility of a rebound. After declaring his major league challenge, he signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with Oakland.
However, in Ohtani’s debut against the Los Angeles Angels on the 2nd, he collapsed with 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts and 8 runs in 2⅓ innings, and Ohtani also got a hit at the right time, feeling the gap.