Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani’s Duel With Paul Skenes Left Internet Buzzing During Dodgers’ Loss

As the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates squared off on Wednesday night, all eyes were on the duel between starting pitcher Paul Skenes and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani.

It lived up to the hype.

Skenes won the first round, striking out Ohtani on three straight 100-mph fastballs. The entire at-bat lasted less than a minute, as Skenes made his idol look silly in the batter’s box.

“The stuff itself was really good,” Ohtani said via interpreter Will Ireton. “As you saw in the first at-bat, I couldn’t really put together good swings.”

The second round went to Ohtani. He took a full-count fastball over the center field wall for a two-run home run. Skenes couldn’t help but smile as he watched the ball leave the yard.

“Kind of got to tip your cap,” Skenes told reporters after the game. “He’s a good player. Stuff like that is going to happen. They have other really good players, too. And frankly, that’s why we play the game, for matchups like that. Not happy I gave it up, but it’s part of the game.”

The rubber match went to Ohtani, who poked a single through to the grass in the fifth, but Skenes stranded the bases loaded to complete his night: five innings, three runs allowed, eight strikeouts. Ohtani finished the game 2-for-5.

The Pirates went on to win 10-6, handing the Dodgers their 10th loss in their last 15 games. It was just the second time since May 24 that the Dodgers scored at least six runs in a game.

Their struggles against high-velocity pitching were exploited in the first two games against the Pirates, and manager Dave Roberts expects his team to see more of that until they can “flip the script.”

“Like anything, until you show that you can flip the script or do something different, they’re going to continue to exploit it,” Roberts said.

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-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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