August 7, 2023 19:00 August 6, DeNA vs. Hanshin 3rd inning 1st death, Chikamoto hitting left front
Contrary to inflated expectations, the number 5 was only looking at what had to be done.
In the DeNA match (Yokohama) on the 5th, outfielder Koji Chikamoto (28) was hitting 4 out of 4 at the end of the 5th inning. He hit the 6th at-bat in the 9th inning with a walk. He hit back 152 kilometers high inside the inlet and finished the match with a sharp hit in the middle.
If there was a hit, it was 5 hits in 5 at bats. Tiger Party at Yokohama Stadium also sent a hot look. I can imagine thinking, “I want to put out one” in the final at bat, which was greeted with no hits in three at bats. Then, what were you thinking about in the final at-bat, which you welcomed with four hits?
Before the game on the 6th, Chikamoto came out of the indoor practice field at the same stadium, drenched in sweat, and muttered, “Sora, let’s connect to today.” It was about 70 meters from there to the stadium entrance. As he walked, he said, “If you don’t want a fifth hit, it’s pointless. You should do what you want to do, and how do you get a hit with it?”
It’s not often, even throughout the season, that he reaches the final at-bat with 4 hits in 4 at bats. There must be an air, a sensation that can only be felt at that time. Therefore, it can be said that he dared to aim for “5 hits in 5 at bats” and put pressure on himself. Even if he ends up mediocre, the quality is high and should be a one at bat that will lead to the next game.
And the “answer” of this “sixth at bat” came out immediately. In the game on the 6th, he had a 12-game hitting streak with three left front hits, reaching 100 hits for the fifth straight year from a rookie. He also hit a double. He closed out the last game of three straight with two hits in four.
Even in the last five years, he reached 100 hits in his 87th game, which is the third fastest after 81 games in 2022 and 84 games in 2001 when he won the title of the most hits. Although there was a withdrawal due to his right rib fracture, it can be said that he has not dropped extremely and has hits.
He has the attitude of trying to turn any turn at bat into food for growth, so he can keep hitting constantly. He has 45 games left and not a single wasted at-bat.[Ryo Nakano, in charge of Hanshin]
Koji Chikamoto receiving a hero interview on August 5 There are back issues in this column.