A team in last place for the second year in a row is excited

A team in last place for the second year in a row is excited.

The Nippon Professional Baseball Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Hiroshima Carp 3-2 in an exhibition game at Nago Stadium in Okinawa on Friday. Trailing 1-2, the Fighters scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come from behind to win 3-2.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, No. 5 Ryohei Hosokawa drew a walk and No. 6 Yuki Nomura singled up the middle. With runners on first and third, No. 7 Daigo Kamigawabata singled to left. Tied 2-2. With runners on first and second, No. 8 Kazunari Ishii hit a two-run double to left center. Three straight hits ended the game.

The pitching was good, too.

Starter Genta Uehara pitched four innings of one-hit ball, and Haruka Nemoto pitched three innings of two-hit ball. The two were ideally matched for the win.

Nemoto, a left-hander in his fourth year as a professional, is a member of Japan’s March 6-7 exhibition series against Europe. He came on as the third pitcher in the sixth inning and retired four batters in a row from the second through the seventh innings. 스포츠토토 He pitched six scoreless innings in the first two games of the tournament, raising expectations.

The game against Hiroshima on the 25th was the final game of the Okinawa spring training camp. Nihon Ham went 7-1 in eight games during the camp.

The team won 4-2 against the Rakuten Eagles on April 11 and the Yokohama BayStars on April 16. They won a 6-5 one-point victory over Rakuten on the 18th, and finished with a 3-3 draw against Yokohama on the 24th. We also played three practice games against the Samsung Lions, winning 13-1, 18-3, and 4-3.

The bats were focused. They had double-digit hits in seven of the eight games.

Needham has had issues defensively. They committed a team-high 94 errors last year. On the first day of fall camp at home at Eskenfield after the season ended, the team worked on defense only. It was a performance that emphasized the importance of defense. The team has only committed three errors in its last eight games.

Manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo said, “It’s unfortunate that today is the last day of camp. I wonder if we can continue for another month or so,” he joked. It’s also encouraging that the team finished the camp without any injuries. “I’m scared because we’ve been so faithful for the past month,” Shinjo said.

For Nihon Hamm, it’s been a great camp.

Under Shinjo, the Nihon Hammers finished last in the Pacific League for the second straight year in 2022-2023. This year, they aimed to get out of the cellar and into Class A (1-3 out of six teams). The team has a roster with eight foreign players, the most in the franchise’s history, and has signed left-hander Sachiya Yamasaki, who was a key player in the Orix Buffaloes’ championship last year, as a free agent. He replaced Naoyuki Uwasawa (Tampa Bay Rays), who left for the major leagues.

The atmosphere at the beginning of the exhibition game is good.

Even if it’s a practice game or an exhibition game, it’s a good flow. What the team needs after two consecutive last-place finishes is a winning habit and confidence.

Nippon Hamm won the title in 2016 under Hideki Kuriyama. That was when Shohei Ohtani (LA Dodgers) was playing. Since then, it has been a downward spiral. In 2017, the year after the championship, they dropped to fifth place. In the last seven seasons, they have only had one fall in 2018, when they finished third. In 2019 and 2021, they finished fifth for three consecutive years, and the last two years in a row.

Will there be a blossoming spring in Nihon Hamm?

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