Home Sports Shohei Ohtani’s perfect remedy for a slump was comically bad Mets and their glove-tossing reliever

Shohei Ohtani’s perfect remedy for a slump was comically bad Mets and their glove-tossing reliever

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Shohei Ohtani's perfect remedy for a slump was comically bad Mets and their glove-tossing reliever

NEW YORK – Wherever Shohei Ohtani goes, a microscope follows him.

This week, the high-paying traveling circus known as the Los Angeles Dodgers arrived in Queens riding a five-game losing streak in a series against the rapidly disintegrating New York Mets. Three games against the Big Apple’s favorite blue and orange calamity turned out to be the perfect panacea for the Dodgers, who left town swept after Wednesday’s 10-3 victory.

Despite the team’s recovery, Ohtani looked sluggish for most of the series, extending a cold streak for the all-world slugger. An 0-for-5 performance in the series opener dropped his OPS over an 11-game span to just .565, the sixth-lowest mark in such a long stretch since Ohtani’s massive, paradigm-altering offensive breakout in 2021.

And then, guilt.

With the Mets coming apart at the seams, Ohtani delivered the coup de grace: arguably a two-run opposite-field long ball in the eighth inning on Wednesday that put the Dodgers up 9-3. The explosion was the first since May 17, a normal fallow period for a normal player, an eternity for a supernova like Ohtani.

The home run came from reliever Jorge López, whose departure will go down in Mets history for his theatrics on and off the field. Lopez was ejected four pitches after Ohtani’s 399-foot homer for arguing balls and strikes while he was facing Freddie Freeman. During his exit, he threw his glove into the stands. In the postgame, Lopez was unapologetic about the glove throw, saying, “No. I have no regrets. I think I’ve been on the worst team probably in the whole damn MLB. No matter what.” , so I’ll do what they want. I’ll be here tomorrow if you want me. “I will continue to do this.”

(Perhaps lost in translation, MLB.com’s Antonio Di Como and Star-Ledger Mets beat writer Manny Gómez reported that López meant that he was the “worst teammate”).

López apparently will no longer be with the Mets since reportedly expected to be designated for assignment.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts (probably) couldn’t have predicted this level of Mets ineptitude, but he did predict an Ohtani breakout in his pregame media scrum.

“I really feel like today will be a good day for him.”

“I still feel great about Shohei throwing strikes,” the Dodgers manager proclaimed. “I liked how high he swung those pitches and if he swings those pitches, you’ll see the slug again.”

Once again, Roberts got it right.

It’s a reminder that any sample size as small as Ohtani’s 11-game streak isn’t worth the slightest bit of panic, especially for a player with this kind of history. The left-handed slugger now has a full-season OPS of 1.011, the fourth-best mark in MLB. But as baseball’s world-famous $700 million man, everything about Ohtani is subject to additional scrutiny.

Especially when that particular losing streak could have been tied to a specific play.

In the first inning of Los Angeles’ game against Cincinnati on May 16, Ohtani was accidentally drilled in the leg by an errant pitch. Reds pitcher Brent Suter’s pitch ran too far down the first baseline and hit the 29-year-old superstar in the back of her left leg, right in the center of her hamstring. . After contact, Ohtani grimaced, clutched his left thigh and knelt at the top of first base. He recovered a few seconds later and even stole second base from the next batter.

Although it seemed harmless at the time, the sting persisted.

Against those same Reds a week later, Ohtani slid around the bases at an abnormally slow pace while hitting a triple. When asked about it after the game, Roberts revealed that his most dynamic player was suffering from a hamstring bruise and the club asked her to take it easy while he ran the bases.

Ohtani downplayed the severity of the injury during his media availability on Monday, denying that it had anything to do with his recent losing streak.

“Obviously the leg isn’t that good, but I personally don’t think it’s affecting the swing,” he told the group of reporters gathered at Citi Field, also mentioning that his hamstring bruise was improving “day by day.” .

Based on his monster shot against the Mets on Wednesday, Ohtani appears to be close to 100%.

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