Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels)바카라사이트 is looking tired, and the Japanese media is expressing concern.
“Fans are voicing their worries as Ohtani, whose strength lies in his fastball, has been unable to take advantage of his offspeed pitches,” the Abema Times reported on Wednesday.
On the same day, Ohtani started the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, USA, batting second and going 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts. His season batting average dropped slightly from .306 to .305.
Ohtani faced defending American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, 40, who earned his first home start since returning to Houston after a seven-month absence by allowing three runs on six hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts in six innings.
In the first inning, Ohtani grounded out to second base in his first at-bat. He started with a favourable pitch count as his first two pitches were both high and in, but after drawing two fouls, he pulled a five-pitch outside changeup for an infield grounder that was missed.
Shohei Ohtani, right, strikes out swinging on a ball hit by Justin Verlander against Houston on Wednesday. /AFPBBNews=News1
Shohei then struck out swinging in the third. Again starting with a two-pitch, 0-strike count, Ohtani missed a slider and then swung at a 94.2 mph (151.6 km/h) fastball four pitches later that was fouled off. He swung at the next pitch, a sinking slider, but missed and struck out.
There was reason for concern in Japan about this at-bat. Ohtani had been mediocre against Verlander in his career, going 4-for-20 with a .200 batting average, but before the game, his batting average against fastballs was .374, the highest in the majors behind only Ohtani’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) teammate Lars Nutba (St. Louis, .399). That was expected to be enough to take advantage of the hard-hitting Verlander.
But instead, Ohtani fouled off the fastball instead of hitting it hard. “It was a fastball, but it had a high course, so you could expect a long hit from him,” the media said, adding, “The fact that it was a foul ball means that his muscles were tired.” According to the media, there were also reactions on social media saying, “I’m worried about Ohtani’s body.”
Shohei Ohtani makes a comeback pitch. /AFPBBNews=News1
Through 12 days, Ohtani has played 115 games and 514 at-bats as a batter and 22 games and 130⅔ innings as a pitcher. In a major league where it’s hard to do just one thing, Ohtani has been a rare example of a two-hitter. Even if he doesn’t play much defence, he’s bound to get tired.
In his start against San Francisco on 10 October, he had his catcher and manager called to the mound in the first inning, but he went on to pitch six innings of one-run ball (zero earned). Angels manager Phil Nevin said, “Ohtani is tired right now. He’s been out there for 16 games in 16 days with no rest. He told me in the sixth inning that he was running out of gas, but he persevered and pitched a perfect inning.”
Earlier, on the 4th, Ohtani told ESPN and other local media, “I don’t want to take a day off. When asked if he wanted to take an extra day off, he said, “I can’t decide for myself,” but was adamant: “Personally, I don’t want to take a day off.” But he is also human.
But Ohtani is also human. Even in a situation like this, he is bound to lose physical strength. Even in his strengths, Otani is showing signs of fading, which is causing concern for his fans.
Shohei Ohtani. /AFPBBNews=News1
Shohei Ohtani strikes out on a false swing. /AFPBBNews=News1