Katsuki Azuma (27), a pitcher for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball, is riding an unstoppable nine-game winning streak and is on track to win the pitcher’s triple crown.
On July 7, Azuma started the game against the Hiroshima Toyo Carp at Matsuda Stadium in Hiroshima, Japan, and threw 116 pitches over nine innings, allowing one run on eight hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
It was his third complete game of the season, and he allowed one run on a solo home run. Yokohama won the game 3-1.
Azuma picked up his 13th win of the season (2 losses) to lead the Central League in wins. They passed the next closest group (4) with 10 wins. Her winning percentage (.867) also leads the league. Lowered their ERA to 2.11. Third in the league. His 103 strikeouts are eighth in the league and far behind teammate Imanaga (152).
After undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery in 2020, Azuma won just one game in 2021 and one in 2022, but has bounced back this season and is on track for a career-high season.
After retiring the side in order in the first inning, Azuma faced a pair of singles in the top of the second. He gave up a solo home run to the leadoff batter in the third to tie the game at 1-1. She got a strikeout and an infield grounder to end the inning.
Allowed a leadoff single in the fourth, but got a strikeout and an infield grounder to end the inning. In the fifth, he retired the first batter he faced in the sixth on a strikeout, then got a hit and a double play to end the inning.
In the seventh, he gave up a leadoff single but got an infield grounder and a strikeout to end the inning. In the eighth, a double play with one out ended the inning. With two outs in the ninth, he gave up a single to left, but got a swinging strikeout for the final out to complete the shutout.
Japanese media outlet Sponichi Annex said, “Azuma has won 13 games. He has fulfilled the rules for the winning percentage title, and is on track to win the pitcher’s triple crown with his ERA.” Since August, he has been on a roll, going 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA in six starts (45 innings, 8 earned runs).
“The bullpen is throwing a lot, so I wanted to pitch as long as possible,” Azuma said after the game.
Azuma has won nine straight games. It’s been 26 years since a Yokohama pitcher won nine straight games, which Daisuke Miura accomplished in 1997. It’s the first time a left-handed pitcher has done it in 30 years since Hiroki Nomura in 1993.토토사이트
“It would be great to win the title,” said Azuma, “but one game at a time is more important than anything else. I will work hard to return to Yokohama and continue my winning streak.”
Yokohama snapped a two-game losing streak and a recent three-game losing streak. They are two games ahead of fourth-place Yomiuri for the third spot heading into the climactic series.