Kim Ha-seong (San Diego Padres) will face Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the first time in two years. This time, Kim will be facing Ohtani for the first time in the regular season.
San Diego will host the Angels for a three-game series at Petco Park in San Diego, California, from April 4-6.
The National League’s San Diego Padres and American League’s Angels share the same California state, but it will be two years since they faced off in a regular-season game in 2021, Kim’s first season in the major leagues.
The two teams played a total of four games in 2021, including a two-game series at home and away, with Kim going 2-2.
Kim, who hadn’t established himself as a regular at the time, started two games and pitched in one, going 1-for-7 with a home run, one run scored, and four strikeouts. He didn’t have a standout performance, but on August 28, 2021, he hit a two-run double to set the stage for a big inning in San Diego’s 5-0 win.
Ohtani also failed to impress, going 1-for-9 with one hit, one walk, two runs scored and one stolen base in two starts and one relief appearance.
Fast forward two years, and both Kim and Oh have stepped up their game.
Oh leads the league in home runs with 31 as of June 3, and Kim has been a lubricant in the leadoff spot as of late. Notably, Kim’s recent home run production is not far behind Ohtani’s (seven home runs in his last 10 games), including five home runs in 10 games since June 23 against the San Francisco Giants.
Both players are irreplaceable and will likely start all three games unless there are special circumstances, such as a health scare.
The interesting matchup will be between Kim and Oh.
Oh didn’t take the mound against San Diego in 2021, so he hasn’t faced Kim in a two-on-two matchup, but the three-game series is set to be a battle of two hitters. Ohtani, whose start was rescheduled due to a nail problem, is expected to start on the fifth. 해외안전놀이터 추천
After posting a 15-9 record with a 2.33 ERA and 219 strikeouts as a pitcher last year, Ohtani has been as good as a league ace this season with a 7-3 record with a 3.02 ERA and 127 strikeouts. He’s held batters to just a .180 batting average, especially with his ‘Magoo’ sweeper.
Kim has faced Ohtani in a non-major league game before. He faced Ohtani twice in an exhibition game on March 22, 2021, and struck out both times.
This will also be the first official game between Kim and Oh since the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC).
On March 10, South Korea suffered an embarrassing 4-13 loss to Japan in the first round of the WBC at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. Kim went 1-for-4 with one run scored and one strikeout, while Oh, who served as the designated hitter, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two walks, one RBI, two runs scored and one strikeout.