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Roki Sasaki Stellar Again For Chiba Lotte Marines’ Scoreless Tie Against Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

 Matt Tallarini  |    May 5th, 2023 9:49pm EDT

Roki Sasaki of Samurai Japan throws during the Japan Workout and press conference at loanDepot park on March 19, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Masterpress – Samurai Japan/SAMURAI JAPAN via Getty Images)

Chiba Lotte Marines starting pitcher Roki Sasaki gave a masterful performance today against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. 

Sasaki faced 17 batters in five innings, allowing no hits, no earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out 12 during his fourth regular season, resulting in a no decision.  

The Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and Chiba Lotte Marines played to a scoreless tie with after the conclusion of 12 innings. 

Sasaki’s fastball reached 100 mph, and he stated to the media that he felt as comfortable to pitch deep into the game due to the regulation of his pitch count. 

The Marines bullpen combined for six innings of relief allowing six hits, two walks, and striking out seven batters during the tie game outcome. 

Softbanks Hawks starting pitcher Souta Ishikawa faced 30 batters over seven innings, allowing four hits, walking four, and striking out eight batters during his performance.  

The Softbank Hawks bullpen combined for four innings pitched with four hits allowed, two walks, and nine strikeouts during the tie result.  

Sasaki began his Nippon Professional Baseball career two years ago, and his dazzling performances have drawn attention from Major League Baseball fans and scouts. Sasaki is 3-0 this year in five starts and has allowed just three earned runs total since the beginning of this season, posting a 0.84 ERA through 32 innings pitched, walking five batters and striking out 50. 

Sasaki’s overall record in Nippon Professional Baseball is 12-6 with a 2.10 ERA, striking out 241 batters in his three total seasons with the Lotte Marines. He pitched a perfect game on April 10, 2022 against the Orix Buffaloes and struck out 19 batters.  

In his next start, Sasaki continued his streak, retiring a total of 52 consecutive batters to set an NPB record, and recorded 14 strikeouts in his following performance against the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. 

Sasaki pitched in the World Baseball Classic during March for Japan, and in two starts, he went 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA, pitching 7.2 innings and allowing seven hits, three earned runs, walking two batters, and striking out 11 en route to Japan’s third World Baseball Classic title.  

The Chiba Lotte Marines (15-12-1) are in second place and play the second game of their three-game series against the third-place Fukuoka Softbank Hawks (13-12-1) at 1 a.m. EDT.