In the third year since joining the team, a batting average of .300, 30 home runs, and 100 RBIs is right in front of us.
Yokohama Bay Stars’ infielder Shugo Maki (25) 메이저놀이터 hit 3 RBIs in the game against the Hanshin Tigers on the 18th, reaching 100 RBIs for the season. In an away game held at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, he played 4th and 2nd base and hit the first hit and the winning hit. He has 7 RBIs in his last 5 games.
This is the first 100 RBI in both leagues of Japanese professional baseball. He beat Kazuma Okamoto (41, Yomiuri Giants) and Munetaka Murakami (30, Yakult Swallows), who are ranked 1st and 2nd in home runs in the Central League, and ranks first in RBIs.
Okamoto ranks second and fourth in this category with 93 and Murakami with 80. Pacific League leader Kensuke Kondo (Softbank Hawks) has 79.
He is a very strong clutch hitter in good chances. Until the game against Hanshin on the 18th, with a runner in scoring position, he had 44 hits in 120 at-bats, 3.67 ERA, 6 home runs, and 68 RBI. Under the same conditions, Okamoto’s score was only 20,430 li and Murakami’s score was only 2,500,000 ri. This is why Maki, who is behind in home runs, is first in RBIs.
In the top of the 6th inning, with the score tied 0-0, 2 outs and runners on second base. In his at-bat, he hit a heavy, timely hit against right-hander Ren Kajiya, who was a replacement. At a ball count of 1B2S, he hit a high fastball (148km per hour) on the 7th pitch.
In the top of the 10th inning of extra innings with the score tied 1-1, the issue was resolved once again.
With 2 outs and 1st and 2nd bases, he hit a triple that fell into the right field, bringing two runners home. He pushed a low outside course fastball (149 km/h) thrown by right-hander Daichi Ishii. It was the final hit that led to a 3-2 victory. Two timely hits were struck after two deaths. He was responsible for all 3 points scored by the team.
Maki reached base 4 times that day with 3 hits and 1 walk. Yokohama won two consecutive wins against Hanshin, which confirmed its first championship in 18 years. In the previous day’s game, they won 1-0.
100 RBIs in 3rd year since joining. This is the 6th record in 40 years since Tatsunori Hara (Yomiuri) in 1983. Maki, who started the season with a goal of 100 RBI, said, “I am happy to have achieved the number I aimed for.”
Maki, who graduated from Chuo University, wore the Yokohama uniform as the second pick in the 2021 draft. He stood out from his first year with the team. In 2021, he posted a batting average of .301 with -153 hits, -22 home runs, -71 RBI, and in 2022, he posted a batting average of .391 with -148 hits, -24 home runs, -71 RBIs. He became the first Yokohama player to hit 20 home runs in two consecutive years starting in his debut season.
He played as the starting second baseman for the Japanese national team in the WBC (World Baseball Classic) held last March.
His performance has improved every year, and this year is also a career high. He has appeared in all 133 games and is batting . He is 4th in batting, 3rd in home runs, and 1st in RBIs.
In his third year with the team, only three players have achieved .300 -30 home runs -100 RBI. The last one was Hara in 1983.
This season, they were strong against No. 1 Hanshin and Koshien Stadium, Hanshin’s home stadium. In the match against Hanshin, he had a batting average of .355, 2 ri, and 7 home runs.
-23 RBI, and in the away game against Hanshin, he recorded .389, 5 home runs, and 13 RBI.
With 10 games left, Yokohama is in 3rd place, 2 games behind 2nd place Hiroshima Carp. There is a possibility of meeting Hanshin, who advanced directly to the final stage of the Climax Series (postseason), in fall baseball.
In Japanese professional baseball, the 2nd and 3rd place players in the league play the Climax Series First Stage, and the winning team faces the league champion in the Final Stage. If they win here, they will compete for the championship with the Pacific League team in the Japan Series.