Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) has been plagued by a terrible two-hitter this season.

As of July 27, 12 teams in both leagues have only three or four triple-hitters. The Central League leads the way with 14 home runs (Munetaka Murakami and Yakult). In the Pacific League, Hotaka Yamakawa (SoftBank) leads the way with 12.

Pitchers, on the other hand, are in mixed form. There are eight pitchers with a sub-one ERA. Even the Central League leader has a 0.87 ERA. This is Daichi Oserada of the Hiroshima Carp.

The biggest reason for this phenomenon is the “fly ball”. This means that the ball has less rebound, which reduces the distance of the hit. “I think it’s been like that since 2021,” said baseball critic Omadanishi. Balls that should go over are caught in front of the fence. Especially this year, it seems to have gotten worse.”

We’re not just talking about the relativity of it being bad for hitters and good for pitchers. There are also concerns about the side effects. For example, he points out that offensive baseball will disappear. The game becomes more defense-oriented and less exciting. Naturally, this will affect the box office.

But it doesn’t stop there.

There are also those who worry about the future of Japanese baseball in the long run.

Omadanishi, a critic, told a media outlet. “In South Korea, they banned the use of metal (aluminum) bats in high school baseball about 20 years ago and made players use wooden bats instead, and as a result, the beasts (hitters) stopped growing,” he said, citing the example of Lee Dae-ho. “Traditionally, Korean baseball has been played with metal bats and wooden bats,” he says.

“Traditionally, the strength of Korean baseball was that we had a lot of long hitters with good physiques, but since then, 고스톱 온라인 we’ve only had slimmer players. “In fact, Japan is experiencing this trend as well, as they were eliminated in the first round of the WBC last year,” he said. After going into an extreme two-hitter in 2011 and 2012 due to ball problems (balls that don’t fly), they did not perform well in the 2013 and 2017 WBCs.” The bottom line is that when the beast doesn’t grow, the pitcher gets weaker.

It’s hard to disagree with this critic. However, there have been several similar complaints in Korea, such as “Since high school baseball started using wooden bats, the balls have disappeared, and only the remaining skills to win have increased.

This has also led to problems with the growth of pitchers.

“After the aluminum bats were banned, (high school) pitchers tend to be rated higher than their skills,” says Jung Min-cheol, an MBC commentator. To rebuild Korean baseball, we should carefully consider reintroducing metal bats.”

Chung is not alone. Other legends like Park Chan-ho, Lee Seung-yeop, and Jang Jong-hoon have publicly expressed similar views. Especially after last year’s WBC fiasco. In fact, the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) even held a public hearing on the subject.

Of course, the opposition is also strong. They argue that it doesn”t help to maintain competitiveness, since international competitions (under 18) require the use of wooden bats anyway. They also argue that the United States and Japan tend to use metal bats, which have less rebound.

Omadaniki, on the other hand, cites the strike zone as a contributing factor to the two-hitter.

He argues that umpires are being too lenient on outside pitches.

“I’ve noticed a lot of complaints from hitters about the strike zone lately. The outside zone has definitely widened. It changes the pitching pattern: you throw it on the outside and see it. Then the psychology of avoiding a long ball comes into play,” he said.

MLB used to be lenient on the outside zone, he says. But since 2007, when tracking data became visible on TV screens, umpires have been more inclined to follow the rules (of the strike zone), he said. Japan’s Kushim, on the other hand, noted that “there is still a lot of individual variation.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *