Since I received such a good response to my article in Eri Yoshida’s second start for the Chico Outlaws, I’d like to give you and update.
In her third start on June 24th against the Edmonton Capitals, she pitched 5 innings for the first time and gave up 3 runs (2 earned), and suffered her first loss in the US. She breezed through her first 3 innings, giving up only 1 hit and a walk. She got into trouble in the 4th inning when she allowed 2 walks and hit a batter, followed by a single and a ground out, scoring two. In the 5th, she hit another batter and gave up a run-scoring double. Yoshida told Reporters that her “knuckleball wasn’t very effective.”
In her 4th start on July 2nd, she lasted only 3 innings and gave up 5 runs, but didn’t figure in the outcome of the game as the Outlaws won 6-5. Either the opposing hitters are learning how to hit knuckleballs, or her knuckleball was not effective, as in the previous game.
In any event, she tends to get a lot of “Hit By Pitches” in her games. Could it be that guys are stepping in to take one for the team? Who wouldn’t be tempted to do that with a 55 MPH knuckler? Just a thought.
Eri was also interviewed before her last start by ESPN’s “This week in Baseball.” I checked the ESPN site, but it appears that the interview hasn’t been played or posted. You can read about Eri on their website at: Eri on ESPN. While you’re there, check out a 13-year old female little league pitcher who also throws a knuckler. Watch the video. she’s amazing.
Eri will make her 5th start tomorrow night (July 23rd) in Chico against the Orange County Flyers. She will make her first road start on July 27th north of the border in British Columbia against the Victoria Seals.
I wish Eri good luck in her upcoming games, and I’ll report on this little (5’1″) dynamo in a couple of weeks.