Last Updated on 08/29/2022 by てんしょく飯
Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) started the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 27th in a hostile environment, pitching as the No. 3 DH and pitcher. He allowed no runs on seven hits with two walks and nine strikeouts. The team won a close game 2-0 and earned their 11th win of the season, their first win since August 9 (local time) against the Oakland Athletics.
What we are witnessing now is historic.
He pitched so well that opposing hitters couldn’t touch him. It took 28 pitches in the first inning, but after that he kept the pace almost unbroken, throwing 18 pitches in the 2nd inning, 16 pitches in the 3rd inning, 10 pitches in the 4th inning, 12 pitches in the 5th inning, 10 pitches in the 6th inning, and 15 pitches in the 7th inning. He pitched at a good tempo, saving energy. As he reflected, “Well, I guess I was able to stick with it,” he pitched like an ace despite the fatigue that had been accumulating after a series of games.
With this performance, Ohtani increased his fWAR (WAR according to the U.S. data site FanGraphs) as a pitcher to 4.0. After seeing his performance, many people around him are expecting him to win the MVP award again. Comparisons with Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, who is currently the leading candidate for the award, have been raging.
While the debate heated up on social networking sites, Yonder Alonso, who once played for the San Diego Padres and other teams, offered an interesting opinion in a public forum. Appearing on MLB Tonight, the official MLB network program that aired on August 27 (local time), the former great said, “What we are witnessing now is historic. Judge’s work is not good enough,” he insisted.
I’m very impressed with what the judges are doing,” he said. But let me tell you that what Shohei is doing is really something that no one has ever seen before.
Greg Amsinger, the show’s MC, quickly responded to this opinion by saying, “I think the most deified of all baseball records is the 61 home runs in a season (Roger Maris’ A-League record). But I think some players (Bonds, Maguire and others) have tainted it with steroids and we’ve become numb to it,” he asks. But Alonso’s opinion did not change. The nine-year veteran of the major leagues is adamant: “Look at his numbers,” he said.
Look at his numbers. He has 200 strikeouts in a season, a sub-2.50 slugging percentage, and could hit 30 home runs. When you see him play with numbers like that, you can’t say, ‘But that guy (Judge) has a chance to hit 61 homers. What Shohei is doing is making history every day!”
Of course, there are still those, like Amsinger, who favor Judge. For that reason, it seems likely that the debate between the two men will continue until the very end. It is very interesting to see Japanese players at the center of the discussion.
Shohei Ohtani, 97mph Sinker Movement. pic.twitter.com/G8Xi1RZnnx
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 27, 2022