Shintaro Fujinami (29) of the Baltimore Orioles, who attracted attention as a rival to the LA Angels’ Shohei Otani (29) during his high school days, will participate in the postseason in his first year of major league debut.메이저사이트
Fujinami made a relief appearance in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays held at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland, USA on the 18th (Korean time), allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout in ⅔ innings.
Fujinami, who took the mound in the 9th inning with Baltimore down 2-3, struck out leadoff hitter Randy Arozarena. Josh Low hit a double and Isaac Paredis walked, but Jonathan Aranda hit a ground ball to first base, putting Low at home with a runner on third base. Fujinami finished his pitch that day after being replaced by Yenier Kano with 2 outs and runners on first and third base. Cano finished the inning without allowing a run.
Baltimore secured a 5-4 walk-off victory after a close game that lasted until the 11th overtime, confirming its advancement to the postseason. Baltimore, which recorded 93 wins and 56 losses by securing a meeting with Tampa Bay, second place in the American League East Division, has a greater chance of advancing directly to the American League Division Series by winning the division championship.
Since his high school days, Fujinami has attracted great expectations with his fastball, which can reach close to 160 km per hour. There have been many comparisons between Fujinami and Otani since her entry into the pros due to her draft motivation, with Otani receiving attention for her double hitter duties. Fujinami, who played as a decent starting pitcher in the early part of his career, gradually slowed down his growth, and until last season, he recorded only 57 wins, 54 losses, and an average ERA of 3.41 in 189 games (994⅓ innings) of Japanese professional baseball.
On the other hand, Ohtani had a successful two-batting career in Japan and entered the major league, winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and the American League MVP Award in 2021, becoming the best player in the Major League. This season, he performed well as a batter with a batting average of .304 (151 hits in 497 at-bats) in 135 games, with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs, with an OPS of 1.066, and as a pitcher in 23 games (132 innings) with 10 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 3.14. Although the season ended early due to injury, he is still likely to win his second MVP award.
Despite the negative outlook, Fujinami announced his intention to advance to the major leagues at the end of last season. And he succeeded in achieving his major league dream by signing a one-year contract with Oakland for $3.25 million (about 4.3 billion won).
But the walls in the big leagues were high. Fujinami struggled in Oakland with 5 wins, 8 losses, 3 holds, and an ERA of 8.57 in 34 games (49 ⅓ innings) and was eventually traded to Baltimore. Baltimore, who noticed Fujinami’s fastball, put a lot of thought into using Fujinami in the bullpen, and as expected from Baltimore, Fujinami bullied batters with his fastball and achieved decent results with 2 wins in 25 games (26⅓ innings) and an ERA of 3.76. . He also played his role in today’s game, throwing a fastball that reached his highest speed of 101.5 miles (163.3 km).
Ohtani has shown remarkable performance every year since joining the Angels in 2018, but has never experienced the postseason. This is because the Angels performed below expectations every year and failed to advance to the postseason. It is unlikely that the Angels will advance to the postseason this year. But Fujinami had a chance to make it to the postseason in his debut season when he moved from his underdog team, Oakland, to American League leader Baltimore.