Lotte Marines pitcher Roki Sasaki set a Japanese pro baseball record by striking out 13 consecutive batters en route to Japan's 16th perfect game on Sunday in a 6-0 Pacific League win over the Orix Buffaloes.
※en route to ～に向かう途中で
It was the first perfect game in Japan since Hiromi Makihara did it on May 18, 1994, for the Yomiuri Giants, and the 16th the league has ever seen.
It was the first time Sasaki went the distance in his young pro career that started in 2020.
※go the distance 全行程を踏破する、最後まで頑張る［やり通す・やり抜く］《野球》〔投手が〕完投する
➣完全試合の説明：At 20 years and five months, Sasaki is the youngest pitcher in NPB to throw a perfect game -- one in which a pitcher allows no opposing player to reach base by any means.
Sasaki piled up K after K.
Sasaki and 18-year-old rookie catcher Ko Matsukawa teamed up on the masterpiece.
※masterpiece名作、最高傑作 →（一般に）絶品、名人芸、凄腕 ≒feat
The Lotte Marines 20-year-old pitcher Roki Sasaki said he enjoyed basking in the afterglow of his perfect game -- Nippon Professional Baseball's first in 28 years -- but woke up ready for a fresh start on Monday.
※bask in 日光浴をする bask in the afterglow of ～の余韻に浸る
"The reality is slowly starting to sink in. I spent last night immersing myself in the experience," Sasaki said of his heroics on Sunday.
※sink in～に沈む、浸透する 物事を主語にすると身に染みる、十分に理解される
※immerse oneself 没頭する
The 20-year-old right-hander, whose father was killed in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's northeast coast, was heavily scouted by Major League Baseball teams before signing with the Marines out of high school prior to the 2020 season.
Roki Sasaki, a right-hander at Iwate Prefecture's Ofunato High School, grabbed the attention of scouts and agents worldwide when a fastball of his was clocked at 163 kilometers (101 miles) per hour at an April training camp.
But on July 25, a day after throwing 129 pitches and four days after a 194-pitch start, Sasaki was held out of Iwate Prefecture's championship game by manager Yohei Kokubo, who was being careful with the youngster's arm. Ofunato lost and Sasaki's dream of pitching at Koshien was over.
The skipper, who had played independent pro ball both in Japan and overseas, was praised for the courage it took to buck tradition, but was also roundly criticized for costing his school a chance to play at Koshien.
Sasaki spent his first year with the Marines on “physical preparation,” and made no appearance that season, which is rare for a top draft pick.
Some people criticized Sasaki as “being sheltered” and the team for “not doing a good job on player development,” said Akitaka Nishiyama, a long-time Marines fan.
One of fans excitingly said, “But you see? he is now blossoming.”
Ｗho is Roki Sasaki? Meet Japanese pitching phenom who almost threw back-to-back perfect games （見出し）
※phenom 〈米俗〉〔スポーツなどの〕 非凡な人、天才