‘Tournament 5 strikeouts’ Trout, Ohtani knows the taste of ‘winning’

The Major League (MLB) Secretariat brought controversy over the operation of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) tournament. This is because the matchup was changed with ambiguous phrases.  

If the US advanced to the quarterfinals, it was scheduled to be organized in GAME4 held on the 19th (Korean time). However, when the US finished second in the first round (Group C), the secretariat changed the date to GAME3 instead of GAME4, leaving the date unchanged. Suspicions arose that the interpretation of the proviso clause was applied differently depending on the situation.  

Originally, if the United States entered GAME4, it would be a match against the winner of the Japan-Italy match in the semifinals. But it turned into a showdown with the Cuban-Australian winner. The winner of the Japan-Italy match was replaced with the Mexico-Puerto Rico winner.  바카라사이트

There were voices saying that they were trying to avoid Japan and that they had an intention to hold the final against the US and Japan. There was a lot of talk about matchups in this tournament from the first inning.  

First of all, the conditions to expect box office success have been created. The United States defeated Cuba on the 20th (Korean time), and Japan won 6-5 against Mexico on the 21st with a dramatic ending hit by Munetaka Murakami in the bottom of the 9th inning. The United States and Japan will meet on the final stage on the 22nd.  

Naturally, attention is focused on the confrontation between Mike Trout (USA) and Shohei Ohtani (Japan), a superstar duo belonging to the LA Angels of the Major League (MLB). It is not a game where Ohtani is the starting pitcher, but it is clear that the two players are representative players of their country. 

Ohtani is making the WBC his stage. In the six games he appeared in, he had a batting average of 0.450 (9-for-20) with one home run and eight RBIs. At the end of the 3rd inning of the quarterfinal against Italy, he made a big inning (4 points) with a surprise bunt that caught the opponent off guard. It brought a reversal of energy. 

Ohtani has already been a starting pitcher in the quarterfinals. With the opening of the MLB approaching, pitching management is also necessary. However, he revealed his will to make a relief mound in the final. He can get on the mound when he absolutely needs a scoreless run against the American hard-hitting line, which has only three MLB Most Valuable Player (MVP) winners (Trout, Mookie Betts, and Paul Goldschmidt). 

There is also an evaluation that the composition of the Trout-Ohtani confrontation is a little tilted. Trout, who is considered the best hitter in MLB, has little presence in this tournament. His record (batting average of 0.318, 1 home run, 7 RBIs) is not bad, but the realism was lacking. 

Most of all, there are a lot of strikeouts. In the quarterfinal match against Venezuela, he had one hit, but struck out three. The opposing pitcher who struck out was one fast ball and two breaking balls (curve and changeup). Even in the semifinal against Cuba, he posted one RBI, but struck out two. All were 4 or less matches.

A total of 9 strikeouts in this tournament. Among the hitters on the team that reached the semifinals, it was the third most after Munetaka Murakami (11, Japan) and Alan Trejo (10, Mexico). Ohtani suffered 5 strikeouts, but showed a calm game by getting 9 walks. 

Ohtani and Trout have one thing in common: they belong to the same team, are MLB’s representative icons, and have a history of winning MVPs one after another. But there is a big difference. Ohtani has the experience of leading his team (Nippon Ham Fighters) to victory (Japan Series) in the Japanese league. Trout has no championship experience, and even played in the postseason in three Division Series games in 2014. That’s why he is called the ‘Lord of the Ungwan’.

There is a difference between the two players in their current condition and energy. Of course, predictions for this WBC are meaningless. The WBC is heading for a climax. 

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