Athletes on the brink of surgery. Shohei Ohtani (29), a “baseball genius” of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, has embraced the waiting game.
Ohtani batted second in the lineup against the visiting Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, on April 4.
The Angels’ starting lineup was Luis Renfroe (right field), Shohei Ohtani (designated hitter), Brandon Drury (first base), Randal Grichuk (left field), Eduardo Escobar (third base), Michael Stefanik (second base), Mickey Moniak (center field), Chad Wallace (catcher), Kieran Parris (shortstop), and starting pitcher Tyler Anderson.
Ohtani was unable to produce a hit on the day. After going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts in five at-bats, Ohtani instead stole his 20th base of the season, giving him a 40-homer, 20-steal season for the second time in his career. Ohtani, who leads the American League in home runs, proved once again that he is an “all-around player” with not only power but also quick feet.
Ohtani got his first at-bat with one out in the top of the first inning and faced Oakland left-hander Kyle Mueller. The result was a walk. Five pitches later, Ohtani drew a walk to open the offense, but was unable to score as Drury flied out to third and Grichuk struck out on a foul tip.
Ohtani’s second at-bat also came with the bases loaded. With two outs in the top of the third, Ohtani faced a full count against Mueller, but was unable to capitalize as he was hit by a six-pitch pitch that was flied out to first base.
The Angels broke out of their slumber in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs on Escobar’s two-run homer to left-center and Wallace’s RBI double to right for a 3-0 lead.
Ohtani’s third hit came in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded. Ohtani faced reliever Adrian Martinez and walked on five pitches. This time, he didn’t stay put. After stealing second base, Ohtani recorded his 20th stolen base of the season and improved to 40-20. Ohtani’s steal came so quickly that the Oakland infield couldn’t even cover the bases. But scoring was a luxury, as Grichuk grounded out to shortstop to end the Angels’ top of the fifth inning offense.
The Angels quickly fell behind 3-4 in the bottom of the sixth after Ryan Noda hit a two-run homer to center and Seth Brown a two-run homer to center. But in the top of the seventh, Renhippo hit a solo home run to right center to tie the game at 4-4. After Renhippo’s homer, Ohtani came to the plate and faced Francisco Perez, who struck out swinging. With the count 1B 2S, he swung at an 82-mph (132-kilometer) slider on five pitches.
Down six runs on defense in the bottom of the seventh, the Angels gave themselves one last hope in the top of the ninth when Renhippo singled up the middle to make it 6-10, but once again, Ohtani’s bat was silent. Facing left-handed reliever Kirby Sneed, Ohtani swung wildly at an 83-mph (134-kilometer) slider for another strikeout. There was no follow-up hit, and the game ended in a 6-10 loss for the Angels.
Even though Ohtani finished the game without a hit, he was still able to record another 40-homer, 20-double season after hitting 46 homers and 26 doubles in 2021. Ohtani is the only player in Angels history to hit 40 homers and steal 20 bases, and only Alex Rodriguez (four times), Barry Bonds (three times), Jose Canseco (three times), Shawn Green (twice), Ken Griffey Jr. (twice), Jeff Bagwell (twice), and Hank Aaron (twice) have done it more than once in major league history. That puts him right up there with some of the most legendary players in Major League Baseball.
Ohtani has another chance at the record books. He currently has 44 home runs. If he adds six more homers, he’ll become just the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to reach 50-20. However, it’s unclear if Ohtani will be able to reach 50 homers, as his home run pace has dropped off recently. Ohtani launched his 44th home run of the season in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on March 24, but he hasn’t hit a home run in 10 straight games since 스포츠토토.
Ohtani is currently dealing with a torn ligament in his right elbow and has been limited to hitting. Coincidentally, the day of his 44th home run was also the day he started a game and was pulled early due to injury.
Still, Ohtani’s run was nothing short of phenomenal. Of course, the injury is not affecting his hitting, but he’s still racking up the hits while facing the prospect of surgery. There is no word yet on whether Ohtani will have surgery. However, local media in the U.S. have pointed out that the surgery is essential if Ohtani is to continue his career as a pitcher. He is eligible for free agency at the end of this season, so there is a lot of interest in what his options will be. Although Ohtani is facing a surgical crisis, his baseball career continues.