The World Baseball Classic (WBC) Round 1 Group B league was perfectly finished with Shohei Ohtani’s stage.
Japan advanced to the second round with a 7-1 victory over Australia, the final match of the group stage held at the Tokyo Dome on the 12th (Korean time), securing first place in the group with all four victories. On the 16th, Japan will play in the quarterfinals against second-placed Italy in Group A.
Ohtani was announced as the starter. After Ohtani pitches in the quarterfinals, even if Japan advances to the semifinals and finals, he will no longer be on the WBC mound as a pitcher. Los Angeles Angels coach Phil Nevin, Ohtani’s team, said on the day, “Ohtani will start in the quarterfinals, and there is no possibility of him playing in the semifinals or finals.”
Ohtani was dropped as the starter for the regular season opener against the Oakland Athletics on the 31st. It is difficult to pitch after the quarterfinals in the WBC in order to start an exhibition game against the San Diego Padres on the 25th. It was an agreement between coach Nevin, Ohtani, and the Japanese coaching staff ahead of the tournament.
However, as the designated hitter, he played until the final match.
‘Hitter’ Ohtani recorded a batting average of 0.500 (6 hits in 12 at-bats), 1 home run, 8 RBIs, 5 runs, 7 walks, and an OPS of 1.684 in 4 games in the 1st round, putting his name at the top of all offensive categories. Since Groups C and D started the game that day, when only Groups A and B were counted, Ohtani was tied for first place in batting average, tied for sixth in home runs, tied for first in RBIs, first in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, and first in OPS.
In particular, walks ranked first overall, and pitchers from the opposing team in Group B were busy avoiding Ohtani.
In the game against Australia that day, Japanese fans filled the Tokyo Dome with a 448-foot long 3-run homer that hit left-hander Will Sheriff’s 71-mile curve in the middle of the 71-mile billboard in the first inning with no outs on 1st and 2nd base. drove them into a frenzy. It was the first arch of his own tournament. 2 at-bats, 1 hit, 2 walks, 4 RBIs.
After the game, Ohtani raised the mood, saying, “The support of the fans has been a big help. But it’s still not enough. I hope you cheer us on even louder.”
If Japan wins with this momentum, Ohtani will have no choice but to be selected as the MVP of the tournament. The MVP came out of the winning team in all previous WBC 1st to 4th tournaments. Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first and second innings, Dominican Republic infielder Robinson Cano in the third, and American pitcher Marcus Stroman in the fourth.
From the first game against China, Ohtani demonstrated the power of two-time batting. Ohtani, who went 2 hits and 2 RBIs in 4 at-bats, became the winning pitcher with 1 hit, 5 strikeouts and no runs in 4 innings as a starting pitcher.
In the game against Korea, he went 2 hits and 1 RBI in 3 at-bats, leading to a 13-4 victory. And against Australia that day, he led the attack by sweeping 4 RBIs, including the first home run of the tournament.
Now, attention is focused on the quarterfinals. 메이저사이트The opponent is Italy, led by manager Mike Piazza, who has made a name for himself as the best offensive catcher in the major leagues. In Group A, where 5 teams went 2-2, Italy showed off its stable power with a team batting average of 0.283, an average score of 5 points, and a team average ERA of 3.75.
If starting pitcher Ohtani blocks more than 5 innings reliably and Japan advances to the semifinals, MVP can be solidified. In 2021, Ohtani was unanimously selected as the American League MVP by bringing the main character of a “baseball cartoon” into reality. Even in the WBC, the scent of a two-time MVP can be felt.