Shintaro Fujinami, who was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, made his debut. It wasn’t perfect, but the manager was impressed with his pitching.
Fujinami threw 12 pitches, allowed one hit (one home run), walked one, struck out one and gave up one run (one earned) in one inning of work against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, USA, on 22 June.
Prior to this season, he signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with the Oakland Athletics to play in the major leagues. Fujinami raised expectations with a 3-0 record and 3.86 ERA in five exhibition games, but when the lid was lifted, the results were disappointing.
Fujinami began the season as a starter, but got off to the worst start of his career with four losses and a 14.40 ERA in four starts. Oakland removed Fujinami from the starting rotation and reassigned him to the bullpen after his repeated struggles. But even after the move to the bullpen, Fujinami showed no signs of improvement. In May as a pure bullpen pitcher, he went 2-1 with a whopping 10.50 ERA.
In June, however, Fujinami was a different story. After a rough start to the month, Fujinami improved to 1-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 10 appearances and began to find his groove, pitching 11 consecutive scoreless innings. As a result, Fujinami was traded to the Baltimore Orioles on the 20th after the All-Star break. He had struggled mightily early in the season, but had been pitching consistently well of late, and took the mound for the first time in a Baltimore uniform on the 22nd.
Fujinami made his Baltimore debut in the bottom of the seventh inning, trailing 0-1. But it didn’t start well. His first pitch, a 99.4 mph (about 160 km/h) four-seam fastball to leadoff hitter Jose Ciri, was driven into the middle of the strike zone for a solo home run over the left field fence.
After the first run, the pitch was perfect. After giving up a home run to Siri, Fujinami got the next batter, Christian Betancourt, to ground out to third base for the first out, got Yandy Diaz to ground out to shortstop to quickly rack up outs, and then faced Wander Franco and induced a six-pitch battle with a splitter to end the inning without further damage. Fujinami’s fastball reached 101.5 mph on the day.바카라사이트
Baltimore acquired Fujinami to bolster its bullpen. Manager Brandon Hyde described how he saw Fujinami’s pitching. According to Japan’s Full Count, Hyde said, “He got caught off guard in the first inning, but after that it was like, ‘Wow! He’s got some nice stuff,” he said, adding, “It’s a fastball that’s over 100 mph and has a good split. (Jose) Ciri was just ready to swing at it,” he said, praising Fujinami’s pitching while not minding that he gave up the home run.
“I took the mound to do my job as usual,” Fujinami said after the game, according to Japan’s Sportichi Annex, “The home run was a ball that the opponent was aiming for. The opponent had the upper hand, but I’m glad I was able to throw calmly after being hit by a home run,” he said after his first start.
Even though the first outing wasn’t a clean one, the commander was full of admiration for Fujinami. Could Fujinami make an impact in the American League East, which is home to some of the strongest teams in the majors? Well, it wasn’t a bad start.