Should I just say that I was just unlucky? Shohei Ohtani (28) of the Los Angeles Angels, the ‘too-hit monster’, shed tears at the strike decision.
On the 7th (Korean time),메이저놀이터 Ohtani started as the designated hitter in the 2023 major league home game against the Texas Rangers held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA, but only had no hits in 4 at-bats.
For Ohtani, the first at-bat was a harsh time. Ohtani’s first at-bat came with one out and first base in the bottom of the first inning. Ohtani, who preoccupied the high ground with a ball count of 3B and 1S, had no choice but to tilt his head when Nathan Eboldi’s 93-mile (150 km) cutter, which entered the 5th pitch, was declared a strike. In fact, it was also found that the ball was out of the strike zone on Game Day, a text relay service on the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB.com). The first pitch also went out of the strike zone, but Brian Onora’s decision was a strike.
Ohtani, who had a full count game rather than a walk, eventually hit an 89-mile splitter that came in on the 6th pitch, but withdrew due to a fly out in left field. Perhaps because of his bad luck from his first at-bat, he was unable to produce even a single hit in the game. Ohtani, who bowed with no hits in 4 at-bats, dropped his batting average to .286 for the season. The Angels, where Ohtani was not strong enough, suffered a 1-10 rout.
Japanese fans are outraged by the referee’s erratic strike decision. On this day, Japanese media ‘The Digest’ said, “About half of the balls were missing even in the strike zone frame projected on the relay screen. Ohtani also looked back at the referee with an expression of ‘Huh?’ It happened,” he explained the situation at the time.
Following this, the media also reported reactions from Japanese fans, such as “It’s a terrible decision”, “It completely missed the strike zone”, and “Ohtani’s pioneering plan was not wrong”.
Coincidentally, the game on this day was an important bout in that it was a confrontation between the two teams who were fighting fiercely for the lead in the American League West Division. The Angels recorded 19-15 with this loss, and are currently in second place in the district, and Texas is leading the district with 19-13.
Ohtani, who produced another legendary season last year as a hitter, hitting .273 with 34 home runs, 95 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, and pitched 166 innings with a 15-9 ERA of 2.33. With 19 RBIs, 5 stolen bases, and 4 wins and an undefeated ERA of 2.54 as a pitcher, he is showing the dignity of ‘all-around pitching’ this year as well. However, in the two recent games, he left a regret by allowing two home runs each.