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Yoshinobu Yamamoto Records Eight Strikeouts and Gets First MLB Win

Dodgers’ Star Pitcher Is Finally Finding His Rhythm

Yamamoto Has Arrived

Yoshinobu Yamamoto recorded eight strikeouts and surrendered just three hits over five scoreless innings to secure his first win in MLB and help the Dodgers beat the Cubs 4-1 on Saturday at Wrigley Field.

 

Yoshinobu Yamamoto Records Eight Strikeouts and Gets First MLB Win
Los Angeles Dodgers Shohei Ohtani(L) and Yoshinobu Yamamoto | Kohei Choji / Yomiuri / The Yomiuri Shimbun via AFP


As MLB news outlets reported, Yamamoto pitched out of bases-loaded jams in the first and second innings. Shohei Ohtani had two hits and reached base three times for the Dodgers while Cody Bellinger had two of the Cubs’ seven hits against his former team as the Cubs had their five-game winning streak snapped.

After the game, Yamamoto was getting ready to answer questions from the media but his teammate Mookie Betts asked him to go with him to the locker room for his first-ever beer shower.


I think Yoshi’s awesome,Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said. “I think he’s going to be fine. Obviously he’s pitched great against the Cardinals, pitched really good today. When he gets his feet under him, I think he’ll be one of the best pitchers in this game.

He’s been really good. And you know, it’s kind of what we expected,” Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy noted. “That’s what everyone expected when you talk about the kind of contract that he got. But it’s been really, really fun to watch.

 

Yamamoto Overcomes Initial Challenges in MLB

The MLB rumors were true, Yamamoto’s Dodgers teammates noticed that he was tipping pitches in his first starts with the team, which led to the need to adjust the positioning of his glove in his delivery. He also had to get used to the slicker, untacked balls used in MLB, which affected his devastating splitter command.

These challenges, as well as the difficulties that come with having to adjust to living in a new country on the other side of the world, are tough for anyone, especially if you don’t speak the country’s native language.

You could tell Yamamoto wasn’t settled. His nervous expression talking to reporters, as well as how out-of-sync he looked against the Padres at the Seoul Series evidenced this.

Fans and analysts wondered how long it would take for Yamamoto to adjust and have dominant MLB games, but Dodgers officials weren’t concerned because their new ace struggled in his first start.

The ultimate goal right now is to just get him comfortable,” assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness said last week. “Get him the right routine.

Two starts later, he looks like a completely different pitcher.

After throwing five scoreless innings with five strikeouts to get a no-decision in a 6-5 home win against the Cardinals on March 30, Yamamoto followed that up with another solid effort on Saturday.


Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s stats this season have improved considerably after his last two appearances. The Japanese right-hander is now 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in three starts, recording 15 strikeouts across 11 innings. Yamamoto’s next start is on Friday against the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

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