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Takumi Akiyama picks up third straight victory

by on Sep.13, 2010 @ 4:33 pm, under NPB

Takumi Akiyama (HAN) picked up his third victory in as many starts yesterday and became the first Tigers' rookie out of high school to record his first complete game shutout in his first start at Koshien Stadium.  What's more, it was also the third time Akiyama stopped a Tigers' losing streak -- his first two victories stopped two 2-game losing streaks while his third victory snapped an 0-3-1 run.

Some more info about the start:

...only required 93 pitches.

...faced 30 batters and gave up 4 hits while striking out 3.

...no walks or HBPs were allowed.

...collected his first pro timely hit in the 7th.

...topped out at 144km/h.

...first complete game shutout victory by a rookie out of high school since Mitsuo Yoshikawa (HAM) recorded one on 7/12/2007 (vs Orix).

...first complete game shutout without any walks or HBPs since Hiroki Nomura (YOK) recorded one on 10/2/1988 (vs Hiroshima).

...first rookie pitcher out of high school to toss a complete game shutout victory without any walks or HBPs and collect an RBI.

...only two other Tigers' pitchers (drafted out of high school) have tossed complete game shutout victories during their rookie years: Shoji Toyama in 1986 and Yutaka Enatsu in 1967.  But neither did it in their first start at Koshien Stadium and neither recorded a complete game shutout victory without a walk or HBP in their rookie year.

...for the Yakult Swallows, it was the first time they were shutout by a rookie out of high school since Yomiuri Giant Tsuneo Horiuchi tossed one against them in 1966.

...and while this has little to do specifically with the start, Akiyama's entrance music is the theme to Gatchman and it was played for the first time at Koshien Stadium (specifically for him) since he turned pro.  It was also his cheer music while he was in high school and it seems his classmates asked that he make it his entrance music after turning pro.  On a side note: his nickname from elementary school was Akkyaman, which has a difference of just one katana character from Gatchaman, thus the connection.