Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines), pitcher of the Japan World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team, pledged revenge by recalling the defeat against Korea and Japan at the U-18 (under 18) World Cup. It is a determination to soothe the disappointment of being judged early due to an unexpected injury at this WBC tournament.
Sasaki participated in the U-18 Baseball World Cup held in Gijang, Busan in 2019 as a representative of Japan. At the time, Sasaki received great attention as a pitcher who threw a ball with a maximum speed of 163 km, but was unable to use his strength due to injury in the tournament. 바카라사이트
Sasaki started against Japan in the Super Round, but was pulled out early after 19 pitches due to a blister injury on his right middle finger. Japan could not overcome the aftermath of Sasaki’s early steel plate and suffered a come-from-behind defeat to Korea 4-5.
Four years later, Sasaki was once again called up to the Japanese national team. He was selected for the WBC Japan team to be held in March. Selected for the first adult national team. Sasaki was determined to soothe the disappointment of the 2019 U-18 World Cup at the WBC.
In an interview with Japanese media Sports Hochi on the 14th, Sasaki recalled the U-18 World Cup Korea-Japan match, saying, “There was a sense of frustration that I couldn’t help.” He said, “This time (WBC), I will prepare well so that this does not happen. (Due to injury) I will not let myself fall,” he said, expressing his determination to go to the WBC.
The media expressed Sasaki as ‘(about the U-18 World Cup) continued to have a desire to revenge’. In the meantime, Japan national team coach Hideki Kuriyama called Sasaki directly and said, “I want you to fight together. With your performance, you can beat your opponent,” he said, inviting Sasaki to join the WBC national team. The media expressed it as ‘a long-awaited opportunity to (swear) has arrived’.
In the four years since the U-18 World Cup, Sasaki has grown tremendously. Sasaki, who made his debut in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) in 2021, has been reborn as Japan’s best pitcher, freely using a four-seam fastball that reaches up to 164 km and a forkball that can shoot as much as 150 km.
Last year, he recorded 19 strikeouts in one game and achieved the youngest perfect game in NPB. Sasaki’s record in 2022 was 20 games, 9 wins, 4 losses, and an average ERA of 2.02. He also has 12 strikeouts per 9 innings. He is a result that deserves to be selected for the adult national team.
Sasaki said at the WBC tournament, “I want to show a lot of strikeouts.” The media also said, “To recapture the world’s No. 1, Sasaki is trying to break down the world wall with strikeouts. In 2009, the time has come for Sasaki to show the excitement of winning the championship he saw in his first year of elementary school with his pitching,” he said, looking forward to Sasaki’s performance.