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The Strike Zone

Watch: Balentien sets HR record in Japan with 57; plus a supercut of first 55

Wladimir Balentien, who became the third player to tie Sadaharu Oh's 49-year-old single-season Nippon Professional Baseball record of 55 home runs last week, became the first to break it over the weekend, hitting his 56th and 57th home runs in the same game on Sunday. You have to dig through a lot of visual noise in the clip below, but the highlights of Balentien's record-breaking performance on Sunday, which came in a 9-0 Yakult Swallows win over the Hanshin Tigers, start at the 15-second mark.

Underneath the voiceover translation in that clip, Balentien is answering questions in English. Some of it is drowned out by the various sound effects, but he remarks at the start about the pressure of breaking the record. "It was a little bit pressure before I hit 55," he says. "When I hit 55, I feel a little bit loose but still a little pressure. After I hit 56, I think all the pressure went away. It was like a new beginning." In his later comments, he expresses appreciation for the fans and says he is happy to be able to play and have success in NPB.

Here is a supercut of Balentien's first 55 home run swings:

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