Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels) finally moved to the top of the leaderboard. With his 23rd home run, he became the Major League Baseball (MLB) leader. It also gave him the green light to repeat as MVP after two years.
Ohtani, batting second and leading off the seventh inning of a 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri (USA), took a changeup from Taylor Clarke. The hard-hit ball sailed over the center field fence. It was Ohtani’s 23rd home run of the season and 150th of his MLB career.
Ohtani has now hit five home runs in his last six games. He has now passed New York Mets’ Pete Alonso (22) for the bi-national home run lead. 안전놀이터 At his current pace, he could reach 51. Ohtani’s career high is 46 (2021).
He also moved into a tie for first place in RBIs. He’s tied with Rafael Devers (Boston Red Sox – 56). It’s not like he’s not accurate. He’s batting .301 and is on pace to break into the triple digits for the first time in his career. He also leads the league in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) at 1.011.
Ohtani was hitless in his first three at-bats against Kansas City starter right-hander Mike Mayers. He hit a fly ball to center field in the first inning and grounded out to second base in the third and fifth innings. In his third at-bat of the fifth inning, he almost had a walk-off hit, but he used his quick feet to get to first base before being thrown out trying to steal second. But in his fourth at-bat, he homered. In the ninth inning, he went 1-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.
But the Angels couldn’t protect their six-run lead. They gave up three runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to tie the game. They scored a run in the top of the ninth, but gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Kansas City infielder Samard Taylor had a game-tying hit in his MLB debut to help the Royals snap a 10-game losing streak.
Ohtani, the 2021 American League (AL) MVP, finished second in last year’s voting behind New York Yankees Aaron Judge. Voters were more impressed with Jersey, who became the first drug-free player to hit 60 home runs, than with Ohtani, who was touted as a two-hitter. “Somebody explain to me why Ohtani wasn’t MVP last year,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said on April 16, “He’s dominating in a way that nobody else can.” “He’s dominating in a way that no one else can,” Nevin said.
Ohtani’s performance is worthy of MVP honors. He’s not just hitting, he’s pitching as well. In 14 games, he went 6-2 with a 3.29 ERA and 105 strikeouts. It’s not quite as good as last year (15-9, 2.33 ERA, 219 strikeouts in 28 games), when he was among the best in the league, but it’s still ace-like.
His ability to not get hit is among the best in the league. Ohtani currently leads the league with a .178 batting average. According to MLB.com, Ohtani became the first pitcher with 70 or more innings pitched to lead the league in both ERA and home runs.
Ohtani’s presence is also evident in WAR (wins above replacement), which is the overall measure of a player’s ability in sabermetrics (a mathematical and statistical approach to baseball). Both Baseball-Reference (4.7) and FanGraphs.com (4.4) rank him first in WAR.
On the other hand, Ohtani’s strongest competitor for the jersey has been hampered by injury. He injured his right big toe against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 4 and hasn’t played since. He led the AL in home runs with 19, but lost the lead to Ohtani. He is receiving plasma injections to repair the ligament, but there is no timetable for his return.