A shocking come-from-behind defeat. Closing pitcher Roberto Osuna (28, Softbank Hawks) complained of ‘unjustice.’
Softbank lost the third game of the Pacific League Climax Series First Stage against Chiba Lotte Marines 3-4 (10 overtimes) held at ZOZO Marine Stadium in Chiba Prefecture, Japan on the 16th, and was eliminated from the series with 1 win and 2 losses. The victory in the second game seemed to bring momentum, but the season ended in vain with a loss in the third game.스포츠토토
The loss was painful, but even unnecessary controversy surfaced after the game. The main point is that closing pitcher Osuna refused to pitch in the 10th inning. On this day, Osuna took the mound in the bottom of the 9th inning when the game was tied 0-0, and ended the entire inning with 1 hit and no runs (15 pitches). Softbank manager Hiroshi Fujimoto, who scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning, put Yuki Tsumori on the mound instead of Osuna in the bottom of the 10th inning. It was the beginning of disaster. Tsumori, who was on 1st and 2nd base with no outs due to consecutive hits, hit a three-run home run from Yudai Fujioka to tie the game. Manager Fujimoto hurriedly replaced the pitcher with Ryosuke Otsu, but was unable to quell the burning Chiba Lotte batting lineup. With 2 outs and runners on first base, he hit a walk-off double from Hisanori Yasuda and fell to his knees.
After the game, some media outlets said that Osuna refused to pitch in the 10th inning. Osuna, who was interviewed by Japanese media outlet Full Count, adamantly denied this, saying, “That’s not true. No one said, ‘Please do it one more time.'” The reason why Osuna is ‘misunderstood’ is because of his history of pitching. Osuna, who pitched in 49 games this season, achieved excellent results with 26 saves and an ERA of 0.92. However, out of 49 games, the only time he pitched 2 innings was in the game against Chiba Lotte held at home on July 30th. That’s how strong the image of a ‘one-inning pitcher’ is.
Osuna said, “I had a chance to talk briefly with Coach Fujimoto before the game yesterday (15th). He said he would throw it as many times as twice if necessary. Yesterday, that was the situation, but no one said, ‘Please do it one more time.’ “He complained of injustice. He then recalled the situation at the time, saying, “I was watching from the dugout, thinking, ‘Will there be one more?’ The pitching coach came up to me and said, ‘Today is over.’” According to Full Count, Osuna responded to the interview in a calm tone. He said, “I did my 100% to help the team, both my teammates and the fans.”
Osuna, from Mexico, recorded 14 wins, 18 losses, 155 saves, and an ERA of 2.74 over a six-year career in the U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB). After the 2020 season, he tried out for the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and pitched well for Chiba Lotte last year with 10 saves and an ERA of 0.91. He was recognized for his performance and transferred to Softbank in December last year. His local estimated annual salary is 650 million yen (5.9 billion won). He stayed in the tailgate all year and developed into a top closing pitcher in the league, but was embroiled in unnecessary controversy in fall baseball. The Yomiuri Shimbun predicted Osuna’s future as “unclear.”