Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani ‘Relieved’ to Finally Surpass Hideki Matsui

Shohei Ohtani stepped up to the plate in the third inning on Sunday eager to drive in a run and give the Los Angeles Dodgers a lead over the New York Mets. Instead, he crushed a ball into the history books.

Ohtani surpassed one of his heroes, Hideki Matsui, as the Major League Baseball’s recordholder for the most home runs hit by a Japanese-born player. Home run No. 176 also gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead which proved to be enough in their 10-0 route at Dodger Stadium.

The two-way superstar, who is the Dodgers’ designated hitter this season, waited seven games between home runs and felt relieved once he felt the ball leave the bat.

“Honestly I was just relieved I was able to just get it over with,” Ohtani said through interpreter Will Ireton after the game. “I was just happy I was able to do that.”

The record-breaking blast traveled 423 feet with a 110-mph exit velocity. He also finished the game 2-for-3.

“It was not something I was cognizant of when I first started my career,” Ohtani said about breaking Matsui’s record. “But as I’ve gotten to know where I was, yes.”

The next goal is to break manager Dave Roberts’ record as the Dodgers’ franchise leader for home runs hit by a player who was born in Japan. That record is seven, Ohtani is at five. He should get there and then fly past it.

His next opportunity to homer will be against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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