Is your sub-5 ERA bullpen fueling your team’s run to first place?
Bullpen pitchers’ ERAs can spike all at once or drop after a few good games.
That’s why it’s hard to give much credence to bullpen pitchers with ERAs in the 3s. There’s a saying in the field that “even a 1.00 ERA is only proof that a bullpen pitcher can be shaky at any given time.”
However, there is a pitcher in Chiba Lotte who has an ERA in the 5s and is still considered a mainstay in his team’s bullpen.
That’s Sawamura, 35, a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
Sawamura came from the Yomiuri Giants. In Yomiuri, he was considered to have reached his limit. However, after moving to Chiba Lotte, he was recognized as a strong pitcher, and he has a history of success in the major leagues based on his success with Chiba Lotte.
Shukan Baseball, a Japanese baseball publication, said, “The lifeline of Chiba Lotte is the relief staff. How to connect with Masuda, the guardian god, is important. Set-up man Sawamura, who is in charge of the eighth inning, can be said to be the key man who holds the team’s fate.”
Chiba Lotte took over from Yoshii this year. Under former manager Iguchi, the team finished second for two consecutive years in 20 and 21, but fell to fifth last season.
Their 536 runs allowed were the worst in the league. The bullpen collapsed, going 18-30 in one-run games.
Sawamura was noted as a reinforcement to fill the team’s wicketkeeper role. With 456 career appearances in Japan and the U.S. up until last year, he was experienced enough to be counted on as a set-up man in the winning equation.
His attitude toward baseball and his professionalism, which is obsessed with winning, were also expected to set a good example for the younger generation.
According to Shukan Baseball, “This season, in 19 appearances, he is 3-2 with two saves, 10 strikeouts, and a 5.89 ERA. Those numbers alone can be unsettling, but there were four games in which he gave up multiple runs. He’s had a lot of games where he’s allowed runners on base and minimized runs.”
A sportswriter who covered Shukan Baseball said, “He’s not the type of pitcher whose pitches go exactly where he wants them to go. He has two pitches, a fastball and a splitter, so it’s trial and error when the fastball doesn’t work. But he still manages to keep the bad stuff in check. Sawamura”s plus alpha can”t be expressed by his individual performance alone. He is highly sought after by fans, and when he takes the mound, the atmosphere in the stadium ignites. Chiba Lotte doesn’t have a player with that kind of character, so he’s a reliable presence, and I think he’s the driving force behind the team’s lead.”
In early April, he posted a photo on his Instagram of a meal with Masuda, Nakamura, Fujiwara and more than 10 other players, all smiling.
“Just because you’re in the same place and facing the same direction doesn’t mean you see the same thing,” Sawamura said. In any era, those who do, do and those who don’t, don’t. It’s not a given that I can fight in a uniform now, and I’m playing baseball as a professional, which I started as a child, so let’s do it. I want to fight with a focus on the fact that our purpose is to win,” he said passionately.메이저놀이터
You can’t judge Sawamura by the numbers. There’s something about him that makes a team boil. That’s why he’s recognized for his contributions to the team, even with a five-run average.
His presence in the bullpen is a huge boost for Chiba Lotte, as he transfuses the boiling blood of a warrior into the team.