Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels)’s fantastic manners are a hot topic in Korea as well as Japan. In addition, in the US, there was great interest in Ohtani’s ‘sweeper’ pitch, which was expressed as ‘magu’ in Japan.
On the 6th (Korean time), Ohtani started in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) away game against the Seattle Mariners held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA, giving up 3 hits, 4 walks, 2 hits, 8 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings. and won the first win of the valuable season.
He gave up 6 walks, but showed excellent crisis management skills and minimized his runs to only 1 point. Here, he also performed well as a hitter. Ohtani, who came in as the third hitter, adjusted the feel of the hit by picking out walks in the first and sixth innings respectively.
Then, in the top of the 7th inning, when the team was leading 3-1, 2 out 1 and 2 base opportunities. Ohtani made it 4-1 by hitting a timely hit from the left field that was exquisitely pushed into the left field. It was a wedge hit that made his own victory all the more certain. In the end, the team also won 4-3. Ohtani’s batting average was 0.283.
On this day, Ohtani also drew a lot of attention outside of the game.
In the bottom of the first inning, Ohtani violated the ‘pitch clock’ rule while dealing with the opponent’s number 4 batter, Karl Ralee, and was awarded a ball. For speed-up, the major leagues introduced the pitch clock rule starting this season. The pitcher must throw each ball within 20 seconds when there is a runner and within 15 seconds when there is no runner. In addition, the batter must take a batting stance within 8 seconds. 메이저놀이터
Ohtani headed to the dugout after the first inning and talked with the referee about the pitch clock violation. At this time, opponent starter Chris Flexen (29) came to the mound to pitch in the top of the second inning. However, at the moment when he couldn’t practice pitching because he had no ball to throw, Ohtani, who discovered it, suddenly put his hand into the ball pocket on the referee’s waist. He then took out a ball himself and gave it to Flexen with a bright smile. It was the moment when Ohtani’s fantastic manners, which always showed a lot of consideration on and off the pitch, shone once again.
Here, Ohtani is catching the fans’ attention with a so-called ‘harness’ that bends like a boomerang. Japanese media Full Count introduced on the 6th, “Ohtani threw a cartoon-like harness in the game against Seattle that day.”
Ohtani faced last season’s rookie of the year Julio Rodriguez as the leading hitter in the first inning. Rodriguez’s bat went in vain at the sweeper with a distance of about 136.8 km, thrown on the 6th pitch with a ball count of 3-2. Regarding this, Major League pitching analyst Rob Friedman said, “Ohtani’s 6th pitch sweeper showed a lateral change of about 48.3 cm.” ‘Sweeper’ is the 6th pitch (about 140.3 km) that Ohtani induced Mike Trout to strike out on a swing in the top of the 9th inning in the 2023 WBC (World Baseball Classic) final. Based on a right-handed hitter, it shows a movement like a horizontal slider that bends outward from the body, but the change in bending like a harness is significant.
Ohtani is equipped with consideration and unparalleled baseball skills. Isn’t this why baseball fans all over the world have no choice but to be enthusiastic about Ohtani?