‘KKKKKKKKK’ 22 consecutive scoreless innings, 94 holds in four years…10 wins in his first year…2nd in wins, 2nd in ERA, 2nd in strikeouts…a huge success.
Seibu Lions’ Taira Kaima, 23, who won Nippon Professional Baseball’s best middle reliever award last year, has made the transition to starting pitcher this season and has won 10 games. His latest streak is 22 consecutive scoreless innings.먹튀검증
Taira took the mound against the Nihon Ham Fighters at Escon Field in Hokkaido, Japan on Aug. 8 and threw 115 pitches over seven innings, allowing just three hits and striking out nine to earn the win.
He gave up the first hit of the game in the top of the first inning, but got a straight popup to the second baseman and a swinging strikeout to end the inning. Retired back-to-back batters in the second and third innings. He struck out three straight batters.
The fourth inning was a crisis. He walked leadoff hitter Kotaro Kiyomiya, got a strikeout to load the bases, then gave up a double to right to Martinez to put runners on second and third. He struck out Ko Matsumoto on a wild pitch for the second out. A two-pitch walk to Taiki Narama resulted in the runner from third being caught in a rundown as he tried to run home and tagged out.
In the fifth, KKK struck out three straight batters with a 150-kilometer fastball to end the inning. In the sixth, Mannami Chusei led off with a walk, but he retired the next two batters to keep the inning scoreless.
In the seventh, a throwing error by the first baseman put runners on first and third, but he got the next batter to fly out to end the threat.
Seibu opened the scoring with a solo home run by Shuta Donosaki in the sixth inning, and then scored five runs in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk, double (1 RBI), single (1 RBI), sacrifice fly (1 RBI), single (1 RBI), and sacrifice fly (1 RBI) to win 6-0.
After giving up seven runs in four innings against SoftBank on Aug. 18, Taira pitched eight innings of three-hit ball against Nippon Ham on Aug. 25, seven innings of six-hit ball against SoftBank on Aug. 1, and seven innings of three-hit ball against Nippon Ham again today.
Taira, who thrived in the bullpen until last year, has made the transition to starting this season and is 10-6 with a 2.13 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 20 appearances (131 innings). She is tied for second in wins, second in ERA, and second in strikeouts.
After joining Seibu in 2019, Taira won the Pacific League Rookie of the Year award in 2020 with 33 shutouts, and in 2021 he recorded a Japanese-record 39 consecutive scoreless games. In 2022, he appeared in a league-high 61 games (57⅔ innings), posting a 1-3 record with nine saves and a 1.56 ERA in 34 appearances, earning him the Best Midseason Pitcher Award. He competed for Team Japan at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, helping them win the gold medal.
In four seasons in the bullpen, he compiled a career record of 7-8, 31 saves in 203 games with a 1.66 ERA in 94 innings pitched, establishing himself as one of the league’s top starters in his first year as a starter.