Shohei “Idoryu” Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) has dulled one of his blades.

Ohtani took the mound against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a Major League Baseball (MLB) home game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California, U.S., on Aug. 22 (KST), but gave up five runs on six hits, including four home runs, in six and a third innings.

In the top of the fourth inning, he gave up a leadoff solo homer to “Korean Big Leaguer” Choi Ji-Man and a back-to-back homer to Henry Davis. He gave up a two-run homer to Zack Swinski in the top of the fifth to make it 5-2, and another to Davis in the sixth.

With eight runs batted in, Ohtani earned his eighth win of the season as the Angels won 8-5, but he also tied a career-high for home runs in a single game (four). It was also the first time Ohtani has hit two home runs off the same batter (Davis) in the same game.카지노

The pitcher and hitter has a commanding lead in the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) race for the 2023 season. In 89 games as a hitter in the first half, he batted .302 with 32 home runs, 71 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.050, which is the sum of his slugging percentage (0.387) and on-base percentage (0.663). First in home runs-OPS. In 17 games as a starting pitcher, he was also solid, going 7-4 with a 3.32 ERA and 132 strikeouts.

He also racked up some big numbers. In the first half alone, Ohtani surpassed the 100-hit-100-strikeout mark, becoming the first player in MLB history to do so in three consecutive seasons. On May 4, he struck out 13 against the St. Louis Cardinals to surpass 500 career strikeouts, becoming only the second player in history to record 100 home runs and 500+ strikeouts, joining MLB legend Babe Ruth (501 strikeouts, 714 home runs).

As a hitter, he’s also been hot in the second half. He homered in three straight games, from the Houston Astros on April 16 to the New York Yankees on April 18. In the bottom of the ninth inning of a 7-9 loss in Houston, he hit an arching, one-run shot, and in the bottom of the seventh inning of a 3-3 tie in New York, he hit a two-run home run. Ohtani has 18 home runs this season, all of which have come in close games with a tie or a lead of three runs or less. He continues to showcase his clutch ability. With his 36th home run of the season against Pittsburgh on April 24, Ohtani extended his lead over second-place Matt Olson (Atlanta Braves) to four.

On the mound, however, his pace has dropped off dramatically. Ohtani gave up five runs (two homers) on seven hits in five innings against the San Diego Padres on July 5 and five runs (four earned) on five hits in five innings against Houston on July 15. Allowed five or more runs in three straight games in July. His ERA, which was 3.02 through June, soared to 3.71.

Ohtani’s average velocity on his four-seam fastball, which was 155.8 mph in June, dropped to 154.2 mph in July. It was only 153 mph against San Diego on July 5. In three games in July, Ohtani’s batting average on fastballs was .348.

His cut fastball and sweeper led to a lot of long balls. In the bottom of the fourth inning against San Diego on July 5, Jake Cronenwirth’s two-run double to right was a cutter up the middle. Zander Bogaerts’ two-run shot in the sixth inning was a two-pitch sweeper. The game-winning double to Kyle Tucker with two outs in the top of the fifth inning against Houston on Aug. 15 was also a cutter. Against Pittsburgh, two cutters and a sweeper led to home runs.

Ohtani continues to dominate the AL MVP race based on his batting performance alone. However, the man who has elevated his value with his two-hitter has faltered on the mound, giving up five runs in three straight starts for the first time in his career.

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