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NPB news: April 17, 2022

A sell-out crowd of 29,426 turned out to see if 20-year-old Roki Sasaki could make history a week after his 19-strikeout perfect game. He didn’t disappoint, even if he left the fans wanting more as his game mimicked his baseball career so far, his performance whetting appetites his managers declined to satisfy.

Elsewhere in the rest of Japanese baseball, the Hanshin Tigers sent Joe Gunkel to the mound as they put their first win streak on the line and an American ended up as the game’s hero.

Sunday’s games

Fighters 1, Marines 0, 10 innings: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Roki Sasaki extended his perfect inning streak to 17 before leaving a 0-0 game after 14 strikeouts over eight innings, before his game became a microcosm of his career, in that he was sat down in the ninth to protect his arm rather than gamble on making history.

Of course, one only gets upset about it if one is focused on the label rather than the substance, but language has a bad habit of making us do that.

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