2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Ohtani Shohei (LA Angels) had a good fight, catching 8 strikeouts in 4⅔ innings in his first appearance after the tournament.
On the 25th (Korean time),바카라 Ohtani started in a game against a minor league team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks held in Tempe, Arizona, USA, and recorded 4 ⅔ innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts and 1 run. He had 81 pitches.
This game was Ohtani’s first appearance since the WBC, and it was also the last match before the opening of the Major League Baseball (MLB).
Ohtani led Japan to win the 2023 WBC, which ended on the 22nd, and swept the pitcher and designated hitters of the MVP and All Classic Teams. After returning to the Angels, he played a minor league game against the San Diego Padres on the 25th, not an MLB demonstration game.
This was the consideration of the Angels, so that Ohtani, who had risen in status by winning the WBC, could pitch comfortably in an environment with less exposure.
Ohtani said, “I’m ready through the WBC” after finishing the last actual pitch before the opening ceremony.
Ohtani cited advancing to the postseason and winning the World Series as his goals for the new season. The Angels have never made the postseason since Ohtani joined in 2018.
He said, “I went to a short game after a long time, and I felt the atmosphere that ‘this is the best baseball’. (Even in the major leagues) I was greedy to throw the ball on such a stage.” I also thought that I want to win with this team.”
He added, “Still, what I will do this season has not changed much. I want to finish the season well.”
Regarding the newly introduced pitch clock regulation, he said, “I think in my head that I need to shorten the pitching interval to some extent, but I don’t rush. If I do it throughout the season, I think it will be okay if I pitch at this interval without being too conscious.” “It will be difficult to get used to at first, but I think those who adapt first will be able to achieve good grades,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ohtani is scheduled to start the MLB Opening Day against the Oakland Athletics on the 31st.