The Dodgers struggles have been apparent this season but for a brief two-game stint, everything seemed okay. LA took both games against the Angels in their quick series but it wasn’t easy. Two games winning by a score of 2-0 showed that the pitching staff can be effective, but LA also got an up close and personal look at the biggest star in baseball, Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani pitched against the Dodgers Wednesday night and dominated them. He went seven innings, allowing just one run and striking out 12 in the process.
Ohtani made it look easy but his own team’s offense couldn’t back him up so he suffered the loss. Ohtani and the Dodgers have been linked together since he first was scheduled to join the MLB. Now, as he will be a free agent this winter, many believe that the Dodgers have the inside track to getting the two-way superstar on their roster. Manager Dave Roberts spoke about Ohtani but was careful in what he said.
“I don’t think there’s a manager that wouldn’t love Shohei,” Roberts said. “But right now, he’s an Angel, so I want to get hits off him, and I want to get him out four times tonight. And I can’t afford tampering charges.”Per The Orange County Register
Roberts was smart in his approach to speaking on the Angels star but that just shows the interest from LA. Ohtani may be one of the few players in the league that are worth paying tampering charges for. But his “right now, he’s an Angel” comment was the most telling for me.
The Dodgers plan to go hard after Ohtani this winter and after a down offseason this past year, they will have some extra money to bid. Ohtani looks like he will become the first $500 million plus player in baseball history and rightfully so.
His ability to both hit and pitch at a high rate is unlike anything we have seen in a long time. It’s a rare occurrence and most teams will be vying for his services. Ohtani is currently the MLB home run leader and had been on a tear prior to the series against the Dodgers. Against LA, he went 0-7 with one walk. Roberts also commented on the improvement that he has seen from Ohtani at the plate over the years.
“I think for me, on the hitting side of things, he’s managed balls in on him a lot better than when he first came into the league. Balls at the top of the zone, he clearly handles,” Roberts said. “So I think that the holes, places to go, he’s closed those lanes. It just speaks to his adaptability, his talent.”Per The Orange County Register
Ohtani has transformed himself into the biggest show in baseball. His star power rises above others and he has made the game so much better for it. Nobody knows exactly what will happen this winter with Ohtani or where he will be playing next season. But one thing is clear: Like most of us, Roberts is a big fan.
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