TOKYO – – Yoshinobu Yamamoto has won consecutive Sawamura Grants – what might be compared to the Cy Youthful. Most fans in Japan expect an outing to the Majors anticipates in his future. He wears No. 18, the number typically saved for the staff expert in Japan.
But, on this unbelievably profound, incredibly prevailing, apparently relentless Japan list, he's the No. 4 starter – – getting the beginning in Group Japan's 7-1 triumph over Australia on Sunday night.
Indeed, that is exactly the way in which stacked Group Japan is.
The game – – with the victor of Pool B on the line – – was over nearly before it started. Shohei Ohtani kicked the scoring off with a flat out moonshot to right handle that almost smacked his own board square in the face to drive in three. Lars Nootbaar and Kensuke Kendoh added RBIs in the subsequent inning and Japan didn't think back. It was the fourth back to back game wherein Japan's bats made a lot of commotion, as it completed the main round by overcoming its rivals by a consolidated score of 35-8. (Assuming there's some relief for Australia, it's this: It held Japan to its least runs in the primary round.)
With Japan holding an ordering lead, Yamamoto got to work. He struck out eight players more than four innings and permitted just a single fair hit. It was the sort of exhibition the 40,000 shouting, reciting, singing fans apparently willed into reality from the 24-year-old.