Three away from ’40 home runs’.
Yomiuri Giants’ No. 4 batter Kazuma Okamoto (27) hits his 37th home run of the season. He hit a one-run home run in the top of the fifth inning against the Yokohama BayStars at Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa Prefecture on Wednesday. It was a one-run homer in a 5-7 count.메이저놀이터
His swing has been sharp lately. He’s been firing on all cylinders in three straight games since returning from the COVID-19 break. Homered in every game from the first day to the last day of a three-game weekend series against Yokohama. It was his third three-game homer streak this season.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, he led off. The opposing pitcher was right-hander Daita Miyagi. On a 2B1S count, a 147-kilometer-per-hour fastball was in the middle of the strike zone. He took it and sent it into the left-field stands at Yokohama Stadium.
After hitting 12 homers in August, he has three in September.
“I was batting leadoff and was just thinking about getting on base, so I’m glad it was a home run,” he said. His first two at-bats were a double to right field and a swinging strikeout. After the home run, he followed with a fly ball to right field and a swinging strikeout.
Yomiuri tied the game at 7-7 in the top of the eighth after Okamoto’s home run. In the top of the ninth, with runners on first and third, No. 8 Makoto Kadawaki hit an RBI single to make it 8-8.
Okamoto has homered in three consecutive games three times this season. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
7, a one-run win.
He’s on track for 40 homers and a third home run title.
Okamoto led the Central League in home runs with 31 in 2020 and 39 in 2021. In 2021, he was tied for first with Yakult Swallows “monster hitter” Munetaka Murakami (23).
From 2018, when he established himself as a starter, to this year, he has hit over 30 home runs in six straight years. This year, he has set his sights on “40,” surpassing his previous single-season record of 39 homers.
Okamoto became the 114th player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to hit 200 career home runs on Jan. 1. On that day, Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara asked Okamoto to “aim for 500, 600”. Yomiuri No. 4
Okamoto is three home runs shy of 40. His career high for a season is 39 in 2021. Photo credit: Yomiuri Giants SNS
Hara, a former hitter, has 382 career hits.