Ohtani-Trout, reconstructing the ‘fight of the century’… Was the first pitch sweeper a provocation?

The moment the bat cut through the air and the Japanese battery roared, Mike Trout (31, LA Angels) moved his head up and down briefly. There was a sense of self-blame and defeat for not being able to attack the ball. On the mound was Ohtani Shohei (29). 

The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) championship was won by Japan. On the 22nd (Korean time), he won 3-2 against the United States held at Londippo Park in Miami, Florida, USA. 

Starter Shota Imana hit a solo home run off Trey Turner in the top of the second inning, but Munetaka Murakami, who started off as the lead batter in the ensuing attack, hit a tying home run from American starter Meryl Kelly, and turned it around with a grounder RBI in the following opportunity to load bases. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Kazuma Okamoto hit a solo home run off Kyle Freeland. Afterwards, the best relief pitchers in the Japanese league came forward and blocked no additional runs until the 7th inning, and in the 8th inning, Yu Darvish hit a one-run homer from Kyle Schwaber, but Ohtani, who climbed the mound at 3-2, kept the lead without a run and took the lead on the mound. Japan won the championship. 

From the moment the final match between the US and Japan was concluded, anticipation for the confrontation between Ohtani and Trout, who are playing together in the Los Angeles Angels of the Major League (MLB), has increased. Ohtani did not appear as a starting pitcher, so the possibility of a two-batter matchup did not seem high. It was a big event just to see which of the two superstars would lead their country to victory. 

Trout, who suffered 5 strikeouts in the quarterfinals against Venezuela and the semifinals against Cuba, got his hands on it by hitting a double in the top of the first inning. But he had no follow-up. Ohtina hit an infield hit in the 7th at-bat, but Masataka Yoshida hit a double hit and failed to score. So far, the stage for the two players has not been prepared. 

The U.S., which was losing 1-3, chased with a one-run lead in the top of the 8th inning when ‘Geopo’ Schwaber hit a solo home run to ‘starter’ pitcher Darvish who pitched in relief. There was no additional point in the following situation, but Japan also failed to score in an attack at the end of the 8th inning. If the U.S. hit just one home run, the game would be at the starting point. 

In the top of the ninth, Ohtani stepped up as the closer. He was busy moving back and forth between the bullpen and the dugout from the sixth inning. Gearco got a chance to decorate the most perfect finale. 

Ohtani allowed a walk to leadoff batter Jeff McNeill. Londipo Park, the home stadium of the United States, was infested. However, following up, Mookie Betts induced a ground ball to second base, and the fielder made a double play and easily caught two outcounts.  먹튀검증

The next hitter was Trout. Finally, the game that all baseball fans have been waiting for has unfolded. Ohtani, an unprecedented player who achieved double-digit multipliers and 30 homers in one season at the same time, filled the required number of at-bats and innings with two-hitters and Trout, who was only the MVP of the American League (MVP) three times. Because they belonged to the same team, the two players, who had never had an official head-to-head match, met on the best stage and in the most dramatic situation. 

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