‘Harsh Reality’ Sullen Ohtani…32 guns to sprinting triple, ‘only 4 in ML history’, ‘sighs’ even as he achieves the record
Your dreams are high and your footsteps are deep. But the harsh reality is a sigh.
This is the reality for Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Ohtani started in the leadoff spot against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 9 (KST) and went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
However, the Angels lost 5-10. At the end of the first half, the Angels had won 45 games and lost 46, dropping their winning percentage below .495.
Individually, Ohtani is having a near career-best year. This year, Ohtani has started 17 games and pitched 100⅓ innings, going 7-4 with a 3.32 ERA. That’s down from last year’s 15-9 record and 2.33 ERA, but he’s on pace to surpass last year’s innings pitched.
As a hitter, he’s been even better. He batted 32-for-52 with 32 home runs, 71 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.050. Eleven stolen bases are a bonus. In the third inning, he hit a single to right-center field and sprinted to third base. It was his sixth triple of the year.
In the top of the seventh inning, he hit a low slider from Dodgers pitcher Michael Grove for a 132-meter towering shot. It was his 32nd of the season, and he now leads the league in home runs (second-place Matt Olson has 29). He is also second in RBIs. It was a blast that narrowly missed a hit-for-the-cycle (a hit, double, triple, and home run all in one game).
“32 ahead of the All-Star break!” tweeted Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account. Only four players in league history have hit 32 home runs by the All-Star break – Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa. Ruth and Griffey Jr. are the only two players to have drug controversies surface during the home run race.
But the look on Ohtani’s face as he slumped on the dugout bench after the game was over was one of devastation. Despite his madcap two-hit performance, the team hasn’t gotten over the .500 mark and is in fourth place in the West. With the first-place Baltimore Orioles at 53-35 (.602 winning percentage) and the second-place Houston Astros at 50-40 (.556), the race for the wild card is not easy. Ohtani was reportedly heartbroken enough to refuse to speak to local reporters after the game 꽁머니지급.
“We’re in a better place than we were last year, but it’s still tough,” Angels coach Phil Nevin said of the team’s situation.
Ohtani can’t carry the team by himself. Starting pitcher Reed Detmerth was knocked around for seven runs in just 3⅓ innings. Best friend and superstar Mike Trout is out with a fractured left wrist, and Anthony Rendon is also out. Joe Adel left the game with side pain.
“Ohtani is the greatest baseball player of all time,” said New York Post reporter John Heyman. The MVP race this season is completely over.”
However, Ohtani was born in 1994. This year, his age 29 season, is close to his peak. His “two-hit streak” has taken its toll, both physically and mentally.
He will be a free agent after this season. Local media outlets are focusing on the possibility of trading Ohtani before the deadline rather than the Angels’ postseason hopes. The Angels are looking to make their first postseason appearance since 2014 this year. They are far from the perennial postseason contender and World Series winner that Ohtani hopes to be.