It all came down to the situation we wanted. Mike Trout vs. Shohei Ohtani. Arguably the two best players in the game, both on the Los Angeles Angels, facing off for the first time in the ninth inning on the big stage.
Team Japan led 3-2 heading into the ninth inning. Ohtani came in for his first relief appearance since 2016 when he was pitching in Japan. It's like a fairytale.
After a leadoff walk, Ohtani got Mookie Betts to roll over into a double play. That set the stage for the dream matchup. Ohtani vs. Trout.
Angels fans and MLB fans got the matchup they wanted. Trout vs. Ohtani for all the marbles
After falling behind 1-0, Ohtani blew a hittable fastball by Trout. That pitch being 100 mph is likely why Trout missed.
Ohtani missed just off the plate at 100 once again for ball two before once again blowing 100 right by the three-time MVP and future Hall of Famer.
Shohei then on the fifth pitch of the at-bat threw a 102 mph fastball. That matched the hardest pitch he has ever thrown. The stage was completely set. 3-2, down one, with two out and nobody on.
With all of the pressure on his shoulders, doing something he hadn't done in seven years, Shohei Ohtani threw one of the best sliders in his life to get Trout swinging and win the WBC for Japan.
Ohtani was the star of the show offensively and on the mound all tournament and got to celebrate with his Japanese teammates after striking out his Angels teammate to end the game. It really couldn't have been scripted any better.
It was awesome to see Ohtani win with Japan, now it's time for both Ohtani and Trout to win with the Angels.
For now, it's Ohtani 1, Trout 0.