Japanese national team outfielder Masataka Yoshida is shaking the hearts of Boston Red Sox fans.
On the 21st (Korean time), in the semifinal match against Mexico at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Londipo Park in Miami, Florida, Japan won 6-5 with Munetaka Murakami’s timely hit to end the 9th inning. Japan will meet the United States in the final for the first time ever.
The protagonist of the dramatic victory on this day was Murakami, who broke the humiliation of going 4 at-bats and hit 2 RBIs and doubles to end the game in the bottom of the 9th inning. Yoshida went 4-for-3 with 3 RBI, 1 run and 1 walk. The results of this tournament were 6 games, 19 at-bats, 9 hits (2 home runs), 13 RBI, 5 runs, batting average of 0.474 OPS, 1.413.
Yoshida hit Japan’s first hit in the second inning, followed by a left-handed hit with two outs and first base in the fourth inning. Yoshida, who was out with a ground ball in the 6th inning, kicked up a low change-up against Jojo Romero at the bottom of the 7th inning, with 2 out, 1st and 2nd base, trailing 0-3, and hit a 3-run home run with an amazing launch angle of 41 degrees.
In the ninth inning, trailing by 4-5, Shohei Ohtani’s double hit made second base safe, and Yoshida picked the ball on the fifth pitch and went on base with a walk. Japan won a dramatic victory with Murakami’s finish on the 1st and 2nd bases.
Ahead of this season, Yoshida signed a five-year, $90 million contract with Boston through the posting system. If you add the $15,375,000 that Boston paid to Yoshida’s former team Orix, it is a large contract worth more than $100 million. It is the fifth-largest total of all major league contracts this year.
This caused a ‘bubble controversy’ among Boston baseball experts and fans. Local media reduced Yoshida’s ransom by saying, “Yoshida is worth less than half that price” through a front-end survey of the incumbent major league club. Being engulfed in negative public opinion before he even joined. 온라인카지노
However, Yoshida changed the fans’ minds by racking up 13 RBIs in this tournament, which attracted international attention. Yoshida broke the record for most RBIs (12) in a single WBC tournament held by Vladimir Valentin in 2017. When the Boston club announced the news on social media, fans commented welcoming Yoshida’s performance, saying, “Who said it was overpay?”
After the game, Yoshida said, “I tried to hold on somehow. (The home run) came on a tough course, but it was fortunate that I came inside the foul line. This is a tournament where I can show the world the greatness of Japanese baseball. It will be an opportunity,” he said, expressing his determination to win the final.