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Ohtani, Yamamoto deliver mixed results in Oracle debuts as Dodgers

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Ohtani, Yamamoto deliver mixed results in Oracle debuts as Dodgers

Ohtani and Yamamoto get mixed results in Oracle’s debut as Dodgers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – Several of Shohei Ohtani’s skills deserve their own story after any game. His two-way powers at the plate and on the pitcher’s mound, when healthy, have put him in a league of his own, invoking comparisons with a single player nearly 100 years ago whose pregame meal was a hot dog contest between a only man. eat and drink beer before playing literally only against white people.

There’s the power that Ohtani possesses in the batter’s box that led him to lead the league in home runs last season (44), as well as the artillery that lives within his right arm that led him to lead the league in strikeouts per nine. entries (11.9). ) same year. What is often overlooked and should never be forgotten is what his two legs at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds can do.

Ohanti in his first at-bat Monday night at the Los Angeles Dodgers victory 6-4 against the Giants in 10 innings he broke a hitless streak at Oracle Park with the first pitch he saw. The left-handed hitting superstar followed Mookie Betts’ seven-pitch home run with a hard line drive to right field at 106 mph with his bat.

Previously, Ohtani had gone 0 for 8 with two strikeouts in three games in San Francisco.

The next two times Ohtani came up to bat was a demonstration of his forgotten talent on the basepaths.

“He hits the ball farther than anyone else. When he’s healthy, his arm is as good as anyone on the field. He’s faster than everyone on the field,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Los Angeles’ win. “There’s nothing he can’t do. …There are so many ways Shohei can beat you.”

Dodgers starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who played against Ohtani as a rookie in Japan and was his teammate last year in the World Baseball Classic, had a more direct response regarding Ohtani’s speed: “It’s pretty fast”.

Ohtani’s third at-bat was actually his hardest hit of the night, a 109.5 mph grounder up the middle caught by second baseman Thairo Estrada. Although Estrada was able to throw out Betts at second base, shortstop Casey Schmitt was unable to complete the double play because Ohtani ran.

Looking to take advantage of pitcher Jordan Hicks’ high kick and the absence of Giants catcher Patrick Bailey behind the plate, Ohtani took a big lead at first base. When Hicks came off the mound, Ohtani was trapped. Until his speed took over.

Once Hicks threw to first base, Ohtani threw to second. First baseman LaMonte Wade Jr.’s throw went wide and rolled into the outfield. Ohtani kept running on his new opportunity and beat the throw to third base, where he was stranded by Freddie Freeman’s ground ball.

The fifth inning is where Ohtani’s speed really made the difference. The inning should have revolved around Mike Yastrzemski’s spectacular catch down the right field line to prevent a run from being scored. But a wild pitch with Ohtani up put Andy Pages on third base. The Dodgers didn’t need Ohtani to get stronger to bring Pages home and put them within one run of the Giants.

His legs did all the work. Ohtani hit a 99 mph fastball straight into the ground, pivoted with his back left foot, and hyperdrive-kicked, forcing Estrada to botch his rally while Pages scored. Ohtani’s sprint speed on the RBI single was 30 feet per second, which Statcast considers elite.

Although he struck out in his last two at-bats, going 2 for 5 with an RBI, Ohtani still showed one of the many ways he can beat you in his first game in San Francisco since joining the Dodgers on a contract. 10 years. 700 million dollar contract.

Monday night marked Ohtani’s first experience of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry on the road, as did Yamamoto’s. The former Orix Buffaloes ace was also coveted by the Giants during the offseason before signing a 12-year, $325 million deal to join Ohtani in Los Angeles. Yamamoto allowed four earned runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings and struck out six.

Yamamoto (no decision) was happy that the Dodgers got a win, but he was dissatisfied with his personal performance.

“My things weren’t bad, but in the situation I had to keep them at zero,” Yamamoto said through translator Yoshihiro Sonoda. “My ball was hanging and they took advantage of it.”

Luis Matos, in his first major league game, and his third with the Giants this season, crushed a hanging first-pitch curveball into the left field stands in the second inning to give the Giants an early 3-1 lead. .

Through the first two innings, Yamamoto threw 11 curveballs and the Giants didn’t swing or miss once. He only used the pitch eight more times the rest of the way. He also threw his slider only four times, and the fourth was his last pitch of the night.

Heliot Ramos, another young gardener recently called up from Triple-A Sacramento, he activated Yamamoto’s slider that caught much of the strike zone and hit a grounder past Betts at shortstop to score Matt Chapman that put the Giants back on top in the sixth entrance.

“That’s something I wasn’t satisfied with,” Yamamoto said. “The curveball, when it’s suspended, gives them a much better chance of hitting a home run or scoring.”

Yamamoto had allowed only eight earned runs in his last seven starts, but his six strikeouts were his most in his last three outings. Ohtani went down twice and looked foolish doing so against lefty Erik Miller.

However, even in a game in which neither player was more dominant, on a night when fans of both players let their voices be heard among a sea of ​​Dodger Blue in the stands, Ohtani and Yamamoto broke a ball of crystal in what could have been for the Giants, unlike what will be on the other side for the next decade to open this three-game series where the Giants already fell nine games behind the Dodgers in the Western Division of the League National.

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