Four members of the Japanese national team will come to the opening game of the Gocheok ML! “There will be more Japanese fans” in the face-off between “Otani + Yamamoto vs Darvish + Matsui.”

Will the reunion of “Samurai Japan” (nickname of the Japanese national baseball team) take place in Seoul? Already, four Japanese national team players will play in the Seoul Series of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Japanese media FullCount reported on the 24th that “Rakuten Golden Eagles left-hander Yuki Matsui (28) signed a five-year contract with the San Diego Padres,” adding, “There are likely to be more Japanese fans in the opening game between San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Seoul in March next year.”랭크카지노

San Diego officially announced on its official website that it has signed a five-year contract with left-handed bullpen pitcher Matsui. The club did not elaborate, but according to local media in the U.S., the deal is worth 28 million U.S. dollars.

Matsui, who entered the professional league after receiving Rakuten’s No. 1 pick in the 2013 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Rookie Draft, pitched in 501 games and posted an outstanding 25 wins, 46 losses, 236 saves with an ERA of 2.40. He showed good performance in all pitches, including fastballs with a top speed of 154 kilometers per hour, sliders, curves, and splitters, and has a career strikeout rate of 31.85 percent. He has won three saves overall, becoming the youngest NPB player to make 100 saves in 2018, and the youngest to make 200 saves this year.

His name is also known to Korean fans. He tied Lee Dae-ho (41), who played for the Softbank Hawks in the past, with no hit in 15 times at bat. He also joined the Japanese national team at the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier 12, the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and the 2023 WBC, where he faced off against Korea. He pitched in only one game at the WBC, which was the game against Korea, and he pitched one inning with perfect performance.

The number of Japanese players in San Diego has increased to two. Yu Darvish (37) has been playing for the San Diego Padres since 2021. The 103-win veteran signed a six-year, 108-million-dollar extension contract ahead of this season after posting 16 wins, 8 losses and an ERA of 3.10 last year. Darvish, who spent one season, will be sharing a room with Matsui until 2028, if he finishes his contract like this. Darvish shared the news of Matsui’s recruitment on his SNS, expressing his expectations.

As Darvish and Matsui have become one team, attention is now being paid to the season opener of the San Diego Padres, which will take place next year. The team will play its opening game of the 2024 season at Gocheok Sky Dome for two days from March 20 next year. It will be the first official Major League game to be held in Korea. San Diego, however, is drawing attention as its opponent the LA Dodgers.

The Dodgers already has a splendid lineup of players. If Mookie Betts (31), the 2018 American League MVP, and Freddie Freeman (34), the 2020 National League MVP, are holding out, and Clayton Kershaw (35, 2014 National League MVP), who is still an FA, renews his contract, there are already three former MVP players.

The Dodgers became the biggest winner of the Stove League. It was because it caught Shohei Ohtani (29), the biggest fish in the league. The Dodgers awarded Ohtani a 10-year, 700 million-dollar contract in the history of four major professional sports in North America on the 10th. In particular, it was an unprecedented contract in which 680 million dollars, almost all of the total, was returned to future payments.

Since his big league debut with the Los Angeles Angels in 2018, he has appeared in 701 games as a batter for six seasons with a batting average of 0.274 (681 hits in 2483 times at bat), 171 homers and 437 RBIs, 86 steals, a 0.366 slugging percentage of 0.556 and an OPS of 0.922. As a pitcher, he started all 86 games and recorded 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA, 608 strikeouts and 173 walks in 481 ⅔ innings, and 1.08 WHIP. He won the American League Rookie of the Year (2018) and MVP (2021, 2023), and in particular, all two MVPs were unanimous winners.

Not stopping there, the Dodgers signed a 12-year, $325 million contract with Japan’s best pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto on the 22nd. Yamamoto, who debuted at Orix in 2017, pitched in 172 games with 70 wins, 29 losses and one save with a 1.82 ERA. For the third consecutive year, he achieved the Triple Crown (triple crown, multiple wins, strikeouts and No. 1 ERA), and Sawamura also swept the game during the same period. This year, he started all 23 games, recording 16 wins, 6 losses, an ERA of 1.21 and a total of 34 walks (ball that fits with 28 walks and 6 bodies) in 164 innings with 169 strikeouts.

It was an interesting match as two Japanese players were present in both teams. Notably, Darvish, Matsui, Otani, and Yamamoto all played as Samurai Japan fans at the World Baseball Classic held in March. They were all active in their respective positions and took Japan to the top in 14 years. Naturally, Japanese fans are paying keen attention to them.

On top of that, Seoul, where the opening game will take place, is only 2 hours and 30 minutes by plane with Japan, and Gocheok Sky Dome is located in southwestern Seoul, so it is not far from Incheon International Airport or Gimpo International Airport. Naturally, it is an environment where Japanese fans can easily visit. When Ohtani joined the team, Japanese media TV Asahi reported, “Travel agencies are already receiving inquiries to watch the historic opening game.” An official from a travel agency predicted, “In the case of Korean tours, the cost of tickets may be cheaper than watching the game in the U.S., but ticket prices may skyrocket.”

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