Hiromi Ito (26) of the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball has completed a regulation inning for the third consecutive year in her professional debut.
Ito started the game against the SoftBank Hawks at Escon Field in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, on Aug. 18 and pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks, making up for her previous outing in which she was demoted to her lowest innings of the season. The team’s bats were held to one run, leaving him without a win.
Ito is now 7-9 with a 3.29 ERA in 23 appearances this season. He has thrown three complete games. He has pitched 145 innings for the third straight year. “It was a number I wanted to achieve while pitching in the starting rotation,” Ito said.
Ito, who went 10-9 in his rookie year in 2021 and 10-9 last year, is in line for a third straight 10-win season this year.
Ito started with a triple in the first inning, but walked Gensuke Kondo and Tatsuru Yanagimachi in the second. A sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.
With two outs in the third, he gave up a triple to right to Hikaru Kawase. He gave up a leadoff single to Yanagita. Gondo singled up the middle to put runners on second and third, but he got Yanagimachi to ground out to second.
With the score tied 1-1 in the fourth inning, Nomura led off with a double. He struck out the next batter, got a grounder to third and a strikeout to end the threat.
In the fifth, he gave up a leadoff single to Kawase but retired Yanagita and Kondo on consecutive pitches. In the sixth inning, we were in trouble again. Yanagimachi led off with a double to right. A sacrifice bunt put runners on first and third, but a swinging strikeout and an outfield popup ended the threat.
He struck out two in the seventh to end the inning and turned the ball over to the bullpen in the eighth with the score tied 1-1. Neighborhood gave up two runs in the eighth to fall to 1-3. Niihon Ham is in last place in the Pacific League.
“He pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits,” said Japanese media outlet Sponichi Annex. He didn’t get the win because he couldn’t get the bases loaded, but he pitched with a lot of heart.”
“I was pitching with runners on base every inning, but I tried to be persistent, and I definitely tried to get outs one by one,” Ito said after the game.
Ito was pulled early after allowing six runs (four earned) in 2 1/3 innings in his last start on April 10. It was his shortest outing of the season after throwing three consecutive complete games.
After the game, Ito received abusive and slanderous messages on social media from some of his most vocal fans. Ito responded by posting a message on his social media saying that he would “never forgive them” for crossing the line.
Nippon Ham manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo has since urged fans to be careful with their messages and comments on social media, and on March 12, the club posted a “request for social media posts” on its official website 소닉카지노.