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Oh Sho He Didn’t… He Did? Shohei Ohtani an instant star.

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ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Shohei Ohtani
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 03: Shohei Ohtani
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If you’re confused by Shohei Ohtani’s first week in Major League Baseball, you are not alone. Shohei Ohtani is the best thing from Japan since Super Nintendo.

Our first taste of the two-way “Japanese Babe Ruth” Shohei Ohtani was six weeks ago in Arizona during Spring Training. Meaning he was going to attempt to hit several times a week and pitch once a week. That entire first six weeks, it was not a good taste. Ohtani hit nothing but singles and very few of them. His earned run average (era) was 27.00.

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One scout said that at best he was a high school hitter who had never seen a good curve ball before. Another scout said he throws hard but his fastball is too straight. It will never work in the big leagues. To say the least it was a terrible Spring Training.
Angel fans were worrying that the highest prospect in baseball was going to be an over hyped bust. Fans and experts were clamoring for him to start the season in Triple A and get accustomed to life in the USA and better baseball players.

Angels GM Billy Eppler had other plans and so did his international so-called phenom.

Fast forward to his first full week in the Majors and our heads our spinning from what we’ve seen from him and we don’t know what to think. On the road to open the season in Oakland, came his first Major League at bat and with it came his first hit…a single. Something we had grown accustomed to seeing from him.

Then on Sunday April 1st, Ohtani was set to make his debut on the mound. No one had seen a player start the season in the batting lineup, then start a game in the same week as pitcher since the actual Babe Ruth did it in 1921. It’s only fair to note that Ohtani started as a designated hitter (DH) and Ruth started in right field. Different eras, ya know?

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Not only did Ohtani start the game as a pitcher, but he was dominant. He pitch six innings with 5 strikeouts. Ohtani looked like someone the Angels could count on, to take the mound and be effective but may become a liability in the lineup as the DH.
When the Angels headed back to Anaheim the to play their home opener against the Cleveland Indians.

As scheduled because he had pitched the day before Ohtani was out of the lineup. He did however receive the second loudest ovation from the sellout crowd when his name was introduced. The first? Obviously the best player in the world Mike Trout.

With his first Big League win under his belt, what would Ohtani do in his first at bat at the Big A? Go yard of course. Ohtani in the three games he has hit at Angels Stadium has hit a home run in every single one of them. The Angels won all three of those games as well.

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As scheduled, Ohtani sat out the next game because he doesn’t hit the day before, the day of, or the day after he pitches. The Angels lost the game that he sat out of. What happened to the guy who was supposed to be only as good as a high school hitter? All of the sudden with Mike Trout starting the season slow, Ohtani is carrying an entire franchise to victory.

Moving on to April 8, 2018. It was Shohei Sunday (Shohei Sundei?..) yet again. What could he possibly do to follow up a three consecutive games with home runs? Not much can top that… or can it. Ohtani came out onto the mound and struck out the side in the first inning. He came to prove that he is the first dual threat since The Great Bambino. While dazzling through the entire start, he took a perfect game into the 7th inning.

ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 08: Shohei Ohtani
ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 08: Shohei Ohtani

However he couldn’t hold on to it. With one out in the 7th he gave up a hit to the A’s shortstop Marcus Semien and with it went the perfecto and the no-no. He finished the 7th before giving way to the Angels bullpen. Of the 21 outs that Ohtani recorded, 12 of them were via the strikeout. To put him into perspective, he has more homeruns than Aaron Judge and more strikeouts than Max Scherzer.

As of Monday, he had has many wins and more home runs than the Kansas City Royals whole team.

Right now, there really isn’t anything Ohtani can’t do.

If you don’t know how to feel, you are not alone. Who was the player we saw those first six weeks? Was he just duping everyone? Does he have a special switch that he flipped on as soon as the regular season started? I don’t know but whatever it is, I hope he keeps doing it.

ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 03: Dino Ebel
ANAHEIM, CA – APRIL 03: Dino Ebel

Ohtani easily won the American League Player of the Week. While as excited and jubilant that we have all been, remember, it has only been just over a week. I’m hoping for and expecting the best case scenario but it is a long season. Could we see the first player to win the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards since the last truly great Japanese player, Ichiro Suzuki? If his season is like his first week, he could win those and the Cy Young award.

Ohtani already won the Player of the Week honors in his first week in the Major League.

Currently Ohtani is tied with Justin Upton with three home runs just behind all-world Mike Trout who leads the team with four. Ohtani is leading the team in wins with 2. What a time to not only be an Angels fan but a baseball fan.

Next: Garrett Richards is trying to find his groove

In the meantime, it’s a pretty weird feeling to have someone on the team more interesting to pay attention to than our beloved Mike Trout.

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