Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels) has been hitting well of late. His three-game homer streak has already surpassed last year’s record.
Ohtani went 3-for-3 with one home run, two RBIs, one run scored and one walk while batting second in the Angels’ 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home opener against the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA, on Monday (April 18).
Ohtani, who has collected a hit in every game since the All-Star break, upped his average with a three-hit explosion. He’s also homered in three straight games, dating back to May 16 against Houston. To top it off, he hit a dramatic home run late in the game with his team down by a run.
It was Ohtani’s 35th homer of the season, giving him the major league lead and putting him just 92 games shy of last year’s mark (34 homers, 157 games). He’s five homers away from reaching 40 and 11 away from setting a new major league record for most homers in a single season (46 in 2021). If he keeps hitting the way he is, he shouldn’t have any trouble breaking the record.
Ohtani is also hitting .307 with a 1.071 OPS at the plate, and he’s been solid on the mound with a 7-5 record and 3.50 ERA. At this pace, Ohtani has a good chance of reclaiming the American League MVP title he lost last year to Aaron Judge (Yankees) for the second time in two years.
Ohtani’s bat was on point from his first at-bat. Coming up with one out in the bottom of the first inning, he took a first-pitch fastball from Yankees starter Luis Severino and lined it into right field for a single. He advanced to third on a Mickey Moniak single and a Taylor Ward walk, but was unable to score.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Ohtani appeared to have the game-winning hit when he blasted a double to left-center field, but pinch runner Zach Neto was thrown out at home on a perfectly executed relay play from center fielder to shortstop to catcher, ending Ohtani’s rally.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, after a walk, Ohtani came up with a big hit in his fourth at-bat. In the bottom of the seventh, with the team trailing 1-3, Eduardo Escobar walked to load the bases. Two batters later, Ohtani stepped to the plate and took a 96.9 mph (155.9 km/h) fastball from Yankees’ second starter, Michael King, over the left-center field fence for a game-tying two-run home run. Upon realizing the home run, Ohtani executed a bat flip to set the stadium on fire. 먹튀검증
Ohtani came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied 3-3, but in the most pivotal at-bat of the game, he was unable to get a handle on left-hander Nick Ramirez’s outside fastball and struck out on three pitches.
The Angels went on to win the game 4-3. After giving up an RBI double to the Yankees’ Oswaldo Cabrera in the top of the sixth inning, the Angels pulled within one run on a Matt Tice homer. Then, in the top of the seventh, Gleyber Torres hit a sacrifice fly to put the Yankees back in front, and Ohtani tied the game in the bottom of the seventh.