Japan’s Nikkan Gendai said on the 29th (Korean time), “Samurai Japan’s Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) is expected to start as a starting pitcher in the WBC opening game and quarterfinals. “The only anxiety is the slow starter,” he expressed concern.

In 2021, when Ohtani began to play an active role as a full-fledged ‘two-way’, he pitched in 23 games (130⅓ innings) on the mound and went 9-2 with an average ERA of 3.18 and appeared in 155 at-bats, recording 138 hits, 46 homers, 100 RBIs, 103 points, and 26 stolen bases. He was active with a 0.257 OPS of 0.965 and was selected as the ‘unanimous’ American League MVP.

Although it did not lead to the award for the second year in a row, last year’s appearance was also dazzling. Ohtani pitched in 28 games 토토사이트 (166 innings) and recorded 15 wins and 9 losses with an ERA of 2.33. As a hitter, he recorded 160 hits, 34 home runs, 95 RBIs, 90 runs, and a batting average of 0.273 and 0.875 OPS in 157 games. His batting stats dropped slightly, but his performance on the mound improved markedly.

Ohtani is very likely to be the first starter for the Japanese national team in this WBC. Japan’s ‘Nikkan Gendai’ said, “Director Hideki Kuriyama has plans to turn the starting pitchers into four,” and “Ido-ryu Ohtani, Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), and Rocky Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) ), Ohtani is the most likely player in the match against China on March 9, the opening match.”

In addition to ‘Nikkan Gendai’, local media outlets including ‘Nikkan Sports’ are also predicting that Darvish, not Ohtani, will be the starter for the second game of the Tokyo Round, the Korean War. But there are variables. If Ohtani goes to the tournament with ‘double sword’, we cannot rule out the possibility that Darvish will take part in the opening game for physical condition and physical arrangement, and Ohtani will pitch in the Korean match.

Ohtani, Darvish No matter which pitcher starts the opening game, the pitcher facing Korea is not easy. However, the Japanese media expressed their misgivings about Ohtani. ‘Nikkan Gendai’ pointed out, “April was the worst month-to-month performance,” saying, “Superstars with excellent skills and presence are not without anxiety.”

Ohtani’s first year on the major league stage was sluggish with an average ERA of 4.43 with 2 wins and 1 loss in 4 games in April. In the 2019-2020 season, there is no appearance in April due to surgery, but in April of the 2021 season, which won the MVP, 1 win in 3 games and an average ERA of 3.29, last year in 4 games in April, 2 wins and 2 losses, the average ERA was only 4.19. His career April performance was 5-3 with a 4.05 earned run average in 11 games, the worst in his career.

According to ‘Nikkan Gendai’, a Japanese reporter staying in the United States said, “There are many top-level major leaguers who pitch their full power from the opening game, but Ohtani is a slow starter. His performance in April 2021 was 1 win, 3.29 ERA, but , It was nearly 1 point worse than 2.38 in May. Even if you look at the average ERA by inning, the appearance of a slow starter appears, “he said. “The average ERA of 2.89 in one last year was the second worst after 7 (6.48). 2021 is The average ERA in the first inning was 6.35, which was the worst.”

However, Ohtani’s appearance on the big stage is a little different. Ohtani scored 2 runs in 5 innings in the 2014 US-Japan All-Star game (no run) and 13 scoreless innings in 2 games in the 2015 Premier12. If you add up to the performance before the evaluation, he continues the march of ‘zero’ ERA in five international competitions. This is why Ohtani can never be taken lightly.

However, the Japanese media seems to pay attention to even small variables. ‘Nikkan Gendai’ added, “Otani also has anxiety as it is not a problem that can be solved with the ‘soul of Japanese baseball’ that coach Kuriyama repeatedly says.”

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