Pitching Coach Yoshinori Sato sat down with Matsui during fall camp on November 16. Matsui will continue to close in 2018.
April 25, 2017 vs Lotte at Tokyo Dome – Matsui pitched the ninth and struck out the side on nine pitches.
He became the seventeenth player (accomplished eighteen times) in NPB history (sixth and accomplished seven times in Pacific League history, first in Rakuten Eagles’ franchise history) to strike out the side with nine pitches, first since Chunichi’s Yuta Muto on September 10, 2014. He is the first to accomplish the feat while facing the three, four, and five batters. He is also the first to record at least seven swinging strikes (the previous record of six was set by Masaji Hiramatsu in 1979).
June 11, 2017 vs Hiroshima at Kobo Miyagi – Matsui set a new record by notching his twentieth save in his team’s fifty-fourth game of the year. The previous record of fifty-five was set by Kazuhiro Sasaki in 1998 and Kyuji Fujikawa in 2008.
Source: Daily Sports 6/12/2017
September 7, 2017 vs Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome – Matsui notched his thirtieth save of the year and became just the seventh player in NPB history to record at least thirty saves in three or more consecutive seasons. The other six: Hitoki Iwase, Shingo Takatsu, Masahide Kobayashi, Katsuhiro Nagakawa, Hisashi Takeda, and Dennis Sarfate. Of the seven, Matsui is the youngest at twenty-two. The previous record of twenty-nine was set by Kobayshi in 2003 and Nagakawa in 2009.