Various words are exchanged about Munetaka Murakami (23, Yakult), the fourth hitter of the Japanese baseball team. Last year, the best hitter who hit ‘56 home runs’ and became the youngest hitter to win 3 trophies fell into the worst slump. In four games in the first round of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), he recorded two hits in 14 at-bats and a batting average of 104.3. He hit one hit each in the match against the Czech Republic and against Australia, but the feeling of hitting is the bottom. The team easily won 4 matches and advanced to the quarterfinals, but Murakami couldn’t help but smile. The trusted number 4 hitter has turned into a concern.
Murakami struck out on a swing in the 4th inning against Australia on the 12th, with no bases loaded. In the game against Korea on the 10th, he was out with a shortstop’s floating ball in the 3rd inning with no bases loaded. Opponent pitcher sent 3rd Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels) intentionally with 4 pitches and chose to fight Murakami.
The same situation was repeated in the 7th episode. Ohtani struck out standing in a chance to get on base with a walk. The 4th batting order became a hole between the two major league batters, 3rd Ohtani and 5th Masataka Yoshida (30, Boston).
Former Hanshin Tigers coach Akihiro Yano appeared on a Japanese TV program on the 13th and said, “Coach Hideki Kuriyama will also be worried. 스포츠토토 Former Chiba Lotte Marines coach Ito Storm also pointed out earlier that Murakami’s sluggishness deepened as he was conscious of Ohtani.
The feeling of hitting is already bad, but the pressure is inevitably increased as the opposing pitcher walks Ohtani in the front at-bat and walks the game. Chances are concentrated, but I can’t swing. It is a vicious cycle of sluggishness.
Former coach Yano proposed a plan to raise Yoshida, who has a good hitting feel, to No. 4 and lower Murakami to No. 6. In the fifth, second baseman Shugo Maki (25, Yokohama) was put in.
Former manager Yano said, “I’m not hitting myself right now. The 6th will be a burden, but it’s better than the 4th. I have to get out of the pressure.”
Murakami hit a home run in his sixth appearance on the 7th in an evaluation match against the Orix Buffaloes.
On the other hand, the legendary closer, Kazuhiro Sasaki, said, ‘You can hit one shot when others can’t. We have to keep Murakami at number 4,” he said.
It’s a tournament from the quarterfinals. Director Kuriyama’s worries seem to deepen.