Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) will present the ‘two-way’ for the last time at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
Ohtani will start the match against Italy in the 2023 WBC quarterfinals held at Tokyo Dome, Japan at 7:00 pm on the 16th. Ohtani, who doubles as a pitcher, is also expected to digest his bat in the quarterfinals.
The quarter-final match against Italy is the last stage where Ohtani will show off his two-hit career in this WBC. Even if Japan advances to the semifinals and finals, Ohtani only digests his blows after the quarterfinals.
Ohtani is scheduled to start in the 2023 Major League (MLB) exhibition game against the San Diego Padres, which will be held on the 25th in Korean time.
The Angels dropped Ohtani early in the opening game against the Oakland Athletics. The opening game between the Angels and Oakland will be held on the 31st.
The WBC semifinals will be held on the 20th or 21st, Korean time, and the final will be held on the 22nd.
Ohtani, who had to build up his body for the starting pitching schedule for the MLB Opening Day, decided to double-hit until the quarterfinals. 메이저사이트
Ohtani, who entered the MLB in 2018, only appeared in two games as a pitcher due to injuries during the two years from 2019 to 2020.
However, from 2021, he successfully continued his double career as a pitcher.
Ohtani started 23 games as a pitcher in 2021 and had an average ERA of 9-2 and a 3.18 ERA, and as a hitter, he appeared in 158 games and achieved a batting average of 0.257, 46 homers and 100 RBIs. That year, Ohtani won the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) by unanimous decision.
Last year, Ohtani appeared in 28 games as a pitcher and pitched 166 innings, recording a 15-9 record with a 2.33 ERA. As a hitter, he had a batting average of 0.273, 34 homers, and 95 RBIs in 157 games.
It was the first time in MLB history that Ohtani met both the required innings (162 innings) and the required at-bats (502 at bats) at the same time.
He hit 62 home runs and was beaten by Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), who set the record for the most home runs in a season in the American League.
Ohtani, who appeared on the WBC stage for the first time this time, continued to bat at the WBC as well. At a press conference ahead of this tournament, he said, “My style is not only hitting but also pitching. I will do my best in pitching.”
Ohtani started as the third hitter and pitcher in the 2023 WBC Round 1 Group B 1st match against China and showed a one-man show on the mound and at bat.
For a pitcher, he pitched 4 scoreless innings, including pitching perfect until the 3rd inning. He faced 13 batters, giving up only one hit, and no walks. The strikeout removed five.
Ohtani, the “batter,” also shined. In the 4th inning, when Japan was leading 1-0 on thin ice, they hit hard with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 walks and 1 run in 4 at-bats, including a timely double with 2 RBIs.
After that, Ohtani, who appeared as a batter in the first round game, added hits and RBIs in every game. ‘Hitter’ Ohtani’s performance in 4 games was 6 hits in 12 at-bats (0.500 batting average), 1 home run, 8 RBIs, 5 runs, 7 walks and 1 stolen base. Ohtani, who hit 3 doubles and 1 home run, has an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.684.
1st Round Group B MVP went to Ohtani.
Unlike China, which was the weakest player in the tournament, Italy has a number of big leaguers and minor leaguers. David Fletcher, who shares a meal with Ohtani at the Angels, also participated in the tournament as an Italian representative.
In the match against China, Ohtani only used fastballs and sliders, and did not seem to exert himself. However, as a pitcher, it is his last appearance in the WBC, and since Italy is a stronger team than China, there is a high possibility that he will pitch his full power in the quarterfinals.
Unlike the first round, when the pitcher’s maximum number of pitches was 65, he can throw up to 80 pitches in the quarterfinals, so Ohtani is expected to play longer innings than the Chinese game.
Italy selected Ryan Castellini, who has MLB experience, as the starting pitcher for the quarterfinals. Castelleni played for the Colorado Rockies in 2020-2021 and Oakland last year. In MLB, he appeared in 14 career games and recorded an earned run average of 5.47 with 1 win, 4 losses and 1 hold.