mjp28 Posted March 22 Report Share Posted March 22 Undefeated Japan wins 3rd Classic championship. Shohei Ohtani stands alone, both on the world stage and in baseball history. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) No player in baseball history has shown a two-way ability at the level of Shohei Ohtani, and now the Team Japan and Los Angeles Angels star can add one more item to an already unprecedented résumé: World Baseball Classic closer. Ohtani put the finishing touches on Japan's undefeated run at the 2023 WBC on Tuesday, protecting a one-run lead in the ninth inning of a 3-2 win and giving his country an unprecedented third title in the event's history. Ohtani started the game as Japan's designated hitter, going 1-for-3 with a run and a walk at the plate. Even before he took the field, there was speculation about if he would see the mound after the Angels gave their public blessing for the former MVP to pitch. Ohtani moved between the dugout and bullpen several times in the later innings before finally emerging in the ninth for what will likely go down as one of the most watched moments in baseball history. The inning started with a full-count walk of Jeff McNeil, but that was followed by a double-play off the bat of Mookie Betts. It all came down to a matchup so serendipitous it felt scripted: Ohtani vs. his Angels teammate Mike Trout, the most talented player of a generation against the most talented player of the previous generation. Strikeout, ballgame, championship. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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