“It was as if I was watching a video of my last appearance.”
Oakland Athletics Shintaro Fujinami held the 2023 Major League Tampa Bay Race and Expedition at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA on the 9th (hereinafter Korean time) He started the matchup and collapsed with 79 pitches, 3 hits, 7 walks, 1 strikeout and 5 runs (5 earned) in 4⅓ innings.
Fujinami was selected in the first round by the Hanshin Tigers in the 2012 rookie draft and entered the professional stage. Fujinami won a whopping 35 wins during his three seasons with Hanshin. However, he has not achieved a single double-digit victory since the 2016 season. He accumulated 35 wins in three seasons after joining, but won only 22 wins in the following seven seasons.
There were various accidents, but the biggest factor that held Fujimani’s ankle was ‘control’. Fujinami lacked stability enough to record a whopping 514 walks (459 walks, 55 walks) while throwing 994⅓ innings in Nippon Professional Baseball. However, his performance improved noticeably from the second half of the 2022 season, and he He succeeded in signing a contract worth 3.25 million dollars (approximately 4.3 billion won) for one year.
His ostensible performance in his exhibition matches was not bad. Fujinami marked an average ERA of 3.86 with 3 wins and no losses in 5 demonstration games. But the problem was the jeju. Fujinami allowed 17 walks in 18⅔ innings. He averaged about one walk per inning. As much as that, he was just anxious about the content of the game.
Although they performed well in the demonstration games, the regular season was definitely different. In his first regular season appearance, Fujinami gave up 8 runs (8 earned) on 5 hits and 4 walks in 2⅓ innings against the Los Angeles Angels. At the time, the background for recording a large number of runs on the mound was a walk. And once again, he pitched uneasy due to his inability to pitch, which led to his second consecutive victory.
Fujinami was the only one who let runners out until the third inning on the mound on the 9th. However, he gave up 2 runs after letting the lead batter out with a walk in the 4th inning, and in the 5th inning, he self-destructed with 3 walks including a hit ball. As a result, he failed to last even 5 innings and collapsed with 5 runs.
Not only the US but also the Japanese media could not hide their regret at Fujinami’s repeated slump. ‘MLB.com’ said, “I blocked the 4th inning with 2 runs, but after that, the fight with the all-too-familiar pitching game began. The final result was similar to the last (first appearance).” Japan’s ‘Chunichi Sports’ also criticized it, saying, “It was like watching a video of the last start.”
American local radio ‘KCBS’ also said,메이저놀이터 “It seemed to show potential again, but as the situation started to deteriorate, it seemed to roll down a hill”, and ‘NBC Sports’ said that Fujinami needed his first ball. The splitter and fastball are definitely good,” but “What Fujinami needs is a good ball. Lastly he has to find the strike zone,” he said.
Fujinami’s performance this season is recording an average ERA of 17.55 with 7 walks in 6⅔ innings in 2 games. WHIP (on-base percentage per inning) is 2.25, which is a serious level. Hirokazu Sawamura, who played for the Boston Red Sox in the past, also had good results on the surface, but he eventually tasted the bitter taste of being released due to his lack of pitches. Fujinami’s contract is only for one year. If he stays where he is now, he’s unlikely to survive in the major leagues.