Tuesday Sep 26, 2023

No defense? It’s me, Otani! Back-to-back steals of second and third! The magic of disguising a grounder as a triple!

Shohei “Idoryu” Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) is a fast runner. He’s stolen double-digit bases every season except 2020. This year, with the expansion of Major League Baseball’s base dimensions, stolen bases are up across the league, so defense is a must.

However, the Cubs were caught off guard when they left Ohtani on base. We witnessed the magic of a grounder turning into a triple.

Ohtani started the 2023 Major League Baseball game against the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium in Los Angeles on Aug. 8 (ET) as the No. 2 designated hitter.

For the fourth straight game, Ohtani went 1-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and two stolen bases to help his team win 6-2.

Ohtani came to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning with the score tied 2-2. Ohtani walked with one out.

The next batter was Mike Trout. The pitcher and catcher had to focus on the batter.

Ohtani read the mindset. Right off the bat, he made a bold move. His sinking fastball almost touched the ground. Catcher Miguel Amaya couldn’t even throw the ball to second base.

Cubs pitcher Jameson Taillon didn’t even bother to make a play after Ohtani reached second base. In fact, after the second inning, you need a hit to score. So there’s not much difference between second and third. The worst thing you can do is try to steal third and get caught. It was a good time to not have to worry about stealing third base.

But Ohtani didn’t allow this gap. With the second base defense so weak, Ohtani took off again. It was a fast start. Amaya didn’t even throw the ball to third base this time.

Ohtani walked and stole his eighth and ninth bases of the season. However, he was unable to score as Trout struck out.안전놀이터

With the score tied at 2-2, the Angels exploded for four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take the win.

On the season, Ohtani is batting .275 with a .353 on-base percentage and .551 slugging percentage, along with 16 home runs and 42 RBIs. With one more stolen base, he will reach the 10-stolen base plateau for the third straight year. His batting average for the month of May stands at .333.


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