“Monster hitter” Munetaka Murakami (23) is thrown out at the plate.
Yokohama BayStars No. 4 hitter Shugo Maki (25) hits his 25th home run of the season. He hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning against the Yomiuri Giants at Yokohama Stadium on Aug. 1. He homered in three consecutive games, starting on Aug. 29 against the Hanshin Tigers.
Leading 6-2 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Took a 148-kilometer-per-hour fastball from Yomiuri right-hander Kohei Suzuki over the left field fence. After striking out in his previous three at-bats, he didn’t miss a beat in his fourth.
He pushed Murakami, who has struggled of late, down to third and moved into second place. Murakami has been silent since hitting No. 24 against Yokohama on Aug. 17. It’s been two weeks without a home run.
Murakami hit 56 home runs last year, passing “legend” Sadaharu Oh for the most in a single season by a Japanese hitter. At the age of 22, he became the “youngest” player to win the triple crown of batting average, home runs, and RBIs. He started the season looking to win his third consecutive home run title, but could slip to third place behind Maki.
He hasn’t been hitting well lately. He went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts against the Hanshin Tigers on April 1. Last 3
games, he’s 0-for-10 with five strikeouts, and in his last six games, he’s 2-for-21 with 10 strikeouts. The struggles of the No. 4 hitter have also affected his team. Yakult, which won the Central League title for the second straight year, is in fifth place, 5.5 games behind third-place Yokohama.
Yomiuri No. 4 hitter Kazuma Okamoto (28) hit his 35th home run of the season and 200th of his career in the first inning against Yokohama. It had been a long time since he hit his 34th against the Hiroshima Carp on Aug. 20.
Okamoto, Maki and Murakami, who are 1-3 in home runs in the Central League, were the mainstays of Japan’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) victory. Okamoto was the starting first baseman, Maki was the second baseman, and Murakami was the third baseman.
Okamoto returned to the team and continued to compete for the home run title. Since the middle of the first half, Okamoto has led the way for Chigonaga. Murakami and Maki were battling for second place.온라인바카
Okamoto and Murakami are two-time home run champions. Maki, a third-year pro, is looking for his first 30-homer season this year. His home runs have increased each year. He hit 22 in his rookie season in 2021 and 24 in 2022. In 118 games, he surpassed his single-season home run total.
His recent hitting pace has been very good.
In his last six games, he’s 11-for-27 with a home run and a 4-for-7 RBI. Raised his season batting average to .300. Showed clutch ability in the No. 4 spot, going 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position (39-for-106).
With six RBIs in three games, Maki pushed Okamoto back to the top of the batting order.
Maki has 87, Okamoto 84, and Murakami 70. Maki’s 87 ties his career high for RBIs in a season.