On Monday, Team Japan and Team Mexico squared off in what proved to be an epic battle in the World Baseball Classic.
It was a seesaw battle that ultimately tipped in favor of Japan, as they won the game on Munetaka Murakami‘s walk-off double.
But prior to the heroics, Japan’s starter had himself an interesting night.
While right-hander Roki Sasaki‘s results weren’t impressive, as he went four innings and allowed three runs on five hits, he showed off some velocity.
He threw 29 fastballs against Mexico in the semifinals on Monday.
26 of them were at least 100 mph.
On Twitter, MLB Network posted about Sasaki’s impressive accomplishment from Monday’s game.
Roki Sasaki threw 29 fastballs in the #WorldBaseballClassic semifinals yesterday.
26 of them were 100+ mph 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/J2LjlPNZkN
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) March 21, 2023
Velocity is something that many pitchers around the game today use as a weapon to strike hitters out.
It’s why strikeout stuff plays so well in today’s style of game.
But to throw 26 fastballs in a game that are 100 mph or more is rare.
However, Sasaki accomplished just that on Monday night.
Velocity is a statistic and feature that turns the heads of many fans and analysts, and Sasaki’s velocity was certainly on display on Monday.
After his exit, Jordan Yamamoto pitched 3.1 innings and allowed two runs.
But Japan’s bats woke up late in the ballgame.
They evened things up on a three-run homer by Masataka Yoshida and later rallied from a 5-3 deficit to win the ballgame.
The offense got going and picked Sasaki up after a less than desirable outing, but he still managed to put on a show with his fastball.NEXT: Dodgers Manager Declares His Rooting Interest For WBC Final