Ohtani’s ‘terrible luck’ leads to back-to-back 9th-inning homers, 34-gun blast… team loses 8-9, ‘trade possibility growing’ [LAA Review]

Just when it looked like the game was over, Shohei Ohtani (29-LAA) did it again. It was another explosive ninth-inning home run, just like the day before.

Ohtani, batting second in the lineup, went 1-for-4 with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, a double, a walk, an RBI and two runs scored in the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA, on 17 July (ET).

For the season, Ohtani’s batting average dropped slightly from .302 to .301 (107-for-355), while his on-base percentage (0.386) remained the same and his slugging percentage rose from 0.661 to 0.665. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) also rose to 1.051. On the mound, he is 7-5 with a 3.50 ERA.

LAA Ohtani. /AFPBBNews=News1
Frustrated Ohtani avoids no-hitter for Houston
In the bottom of the first inning, Ohtani, batting second, hit back-to-back foul pitches that looked like home runs, then lined one straight to shortstop. His fastball reached a whopping 101.6 miles per hour (163.5 kilometres per hour).

More bad luck. In the third inning, with the bases loaded, he was robbed of an infield single by second baseman Mauricio Duvon.

In the bottom of the fifth, with his team down 3-1, he stepped to the plate with one out but was thrown out at the plate by centre fielder Jake Myers.

Ohtani went down without a hit, but Houston was on alert. With the Angels leading 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Ohtani stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and facing a tough pitch count, he opted for the automatic call.

However, he was then hit by a pitch and Taylor Ward singled to make it 7-3.메이저놀이터

Ohtani (right) celebrates his home run. /AFPBBNews=News1
Ohtani finally showed his ‘full tear’ and hit one in the ninth for the second night in a row
The team gave up two runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth to fall behind 7-9. Ohtani waited for the decisive moment. In the bottom of the ninth, with his team trailing 7-9, he came to bat again with the bases loaded.

Houston sent Phil Meyton to the mound for Rafael Montero. Ohtani swung hard at a 90-mph (144.8-kilometre) four-seam fastball high in the zone from Meyton, and the ball travelled 125 metres at 105.4 mph (169.6 km/h). Solopo chasing 8-9.

Ohtani’s 34th homer moved him to within seven of American League (AL) leader Lewis Roberts (Chicago White Sox-27) and four of MLB’s second-place Matt Olson (Atlanta Braves-30).

Ohtani also hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Houston on the 16th. In his previous at-bat, he struck out on two swinging strikes and a grounder to the second baseman. His final at-bat was less promising. Opposing closer Ryan Presley had just retired 42 batters in a row.

But with his team leading 9-12 in the bottom of the ninth, Ohtani took a slider from Presley for a game-winning solo shot. Ohtani is no stranger to getting stronger in the final innings.

Ohtani (right), who also hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Saturday. /AFPBBNews=News1
LAA loses again, Ohtani trade increasingly likely
Unlike the previous day, however, the Angels were unable to turn the game around. At 46-48, they slipped back to fourth place. They are also seventh in the AL wild-card race.

There is already a lot of interest in what Ohtani will do after this season when he becomes a free agent. While Ohtani has expressed his satisfaction with life in Los Angeles and could stay if the team performs well, the team is not guaranteed to make it to autumn baseball.

This makes a trade more likely. There has been increasing talk of a trade locally. It is believed that teams with a strong chance of reaching autumn baseball this season will try to minimise the bleeding by trading Otani and using him to sign a free agent contract after the season.

Shohei Ohtani. /AFPBBNews=News1
“The Los Angeles Angels are currently listening to trade inquiries for Ohtani,” MLB.com reported on Saturday, citing reporter John Morosi. “According to a source familiar with the club’s inner workings, a trade is still unlikely but open,” Morosi told MLB Network. “The bar to get a deal done for Ohtani would have to be very high. But the Angels are bound to hear about trade inquiries,” he said.

“The hard part is that we don’t have a historical example to compare (trade balances) to,” he continued, “but if the Angels were offered multiple players ranked in the top 100 prospects by MLB Pipeline, they would have to at least start thinking about it. That’s where the Angels are right now.”

Ohtani is a superstar like no other in MLB history, with talk of a $500 million to $600 million (75.92 billion won) contract after this season. It’s only natural for Ohtani, who hasn’t played a single game of autumn baseball since joining the Angels, to dream bigger. The longer the Angels are unable to build on their fall baseball hopes, the more likely they are to be traded. The MLB trade deadline is next month on the 2nd. The eyes of the world of baseball will be on Ohtani to see if anything changes in the next two weeks.



Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *