Yoshinobu Yamamoto shelled in Dodgers debut, gives up five runs in one inning against Padres


Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s much-awaited MLB debut on Thursday morning against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea, did not go as planned. Rather, Yamamoto established a new franchise-low by surrendering five runs in an inning of work, the most of any Dodgers starter in their MLB debut, according to the research of Eric Stephen of SB Nation

Yamamoto, 25, required 43 pitches to get through his inning of work. He surrendered four hits and a walk, and he also hit a batter. He did strike out a pair of batters, but he was replaced by Michael Grove to begin the second inning.

Yamamoto entered the contest widely considered to be the best pitcher in the world who had not appeared in an MLB game. He closed out his career in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league by winning three consecutive Most Valuable Player and  Eiji Sawamura Awards (the NPB equivalent to MLB’s Cy Young Award). The Dodgers believed in his ability enough to sign him to a 12-year pact worth $325 million.

CBS Sports ranked Yamamoto as the second-best free agent available this winter, trailing only new teammate and two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. Here’s part of what we wrote at the time:

Talent evaluators have raved to CBS Sports about Yamamoto for years, citing his high-grade command over a good arsenal as the most impressive part of his game. He throws a mid-90s fastball about half the time, complementing it with a swing-and-miss splitter and a high-spin curveball. Each of those pitches went for a strike at least 65% of the time this season, reinforcing the notion that he paints with a fine-tip brush.

It should be noted that there are several differences between MLB and NPB, including the use of a pitch clock and a different ball, as well as a more clustered schedule that requires pitchers to throw more often. 





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