Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) won his first start this season on the mound. He also set a disgraced major league (MLB) first record, but his personality also shone.
Ohtani played as the team’s starting pitcher and third batter in the 2023 Major League away game against the Seattle Mariners held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA on the 6th (Korean time).
On this day, Ohtani recorded 6 innings on the mound, 3 hits, 4 walks, 스포츠토토8 strikeouts and 1 run, and 2 at-bats, 1 hit, 1 RBI and 2 walks. In particular, in the attack at the beginning of the 7th inning, he pulled out a timely one RBI that made the score 4-1, and it could be said that it was a decisive shot in that Seattle immediately followed up with 2 runs at the end of the 7th inning.
With the team winning 4-3, Ohtani was able to pick up a win in the first two games. On the 31st of last month, in the opening game against Oakland, Ohtani, who had a good start with 6 innings, 10 strikeouts and no runs, lost the start due to bullpen hunting, but made up for it in the next game.
However, Ohtani also showed a rather embarrassing scene in the match. At the end of the 1st inning, Ohtani, who was facing 4th Karl Ralee on the mound, was awarded 1 ball for violating the ‘pitch clock’ introduced from this season. The newly established pitch clock regulation to promote the speed of the game requires that the pitcher throw the ball within 20 seconds when there is a runner and 15 seconds when there is no runner.
In the beginning of the 6th inning, he was pointed out for another pitch clock violation as a batter. A strike is declared if the batter does not enter the plate within 8 seconds, but Ohtani did not observe it, so he went into the attack with a strike.
Ohtani became the first player in history to violate the pitch clock for both pitcher and hitter. Of course, it is a record that only Ohtani will have for the time being in the current situation where there are few players who double-tap. Even though it is dishonorable, it can be said that it is meaningful to Ohtani.
In this regard, Ohtani also directed a heartwarming scene. After pitching in the bottom of the first inning, Ohtani approached the umpire with Angels manager Phil Nevin to discuss the pitch clock situation. However, Seattle starting pitcher Chris Flexen (29), who went up to the mound to pitch, did not receive a practice ball from the referee during this process. Flexen plays for Doosan in 2020 and is a well-known name among KBO fans.
While talking to the referee, Ohtani noticed that Flexen didn’t have the ball. Ohtani, with a surprised expression, hurriedly took a ball out of the referee’s ball bag and threw it to Flexen. Even though he is the pitcher of the opposing team, he showed a manner.
Rob Friedman, a pitching analyst in the major leagues, introduced this scene through his SNS on the same day and said, “If the referee gives the ball and you don’t receive it: you get kicked out, if the referee doesn’t give you the ball and steals it: cool.” . It was a remark comparing Ohtani’s consideration with Philadelphia catcher JT Realmuto (32), who was sent off for violating the pitch clock during an exhibition game on the 28th of last month and not receiving the ball given by the referee.
Meanwhile, Flexen became a losing pitcher even after recording 2 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts and 2 runs in 5 innings. In his first start of the season, he pitched relatively well, but the other line did not help and he suffered.