USA TODAY Sports & # 39; Steve Gardner breaks off the top headlines from the first official baseball day.
USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND – For Shohei Ohtani, his major-league career will undoubtedly be longer than his 4-hour, 2-minute debut, but perhaps not Many
Thursday began by meeting his parents, mother Kayoko and father Toru, over breakfast for the first time in San Francisco, the first time he had seen them for months. They had flown in from Japan overnight to be there when Babe Ruth debuted in the premier class.
He came in the winter as a strong linker to the Angels. Henchman and an Extraordinary Right-Handed Launcher Inviting to the Ruthian Settlements
At the time Ohtani left the Oakland Coliseum shortly after 5 pm PT, he had been able to downsize his list. He made his first major league startup as the featured hitter, an eighth hit for the Angels against the Athletics. He collected his first major league hit, a single, on the first pitch he saw of Oakland Kendall Graveman in the second inning and ended 1-by-5 with a strikeout.
The 23-year-old played in his first extra-inning MLB game, and learned the risks his new manager, Mike Scioscia, is willing to take to win. When the Boog Powell tripled the Athletics with one from the bottom of 11th place, Scioscia went with a five-man infield. The trick failed. Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien then hit an unprotected midfield for a 6-5 A win.
Ohtani also saw something no one had ever seen – Angels Center fielder Mike Trout went 0-for-6 in a MLB game for the first time in his career.
Overall it was a long day. The defeat made the day even more unbearable, but Ohtani and the Angels still have 161 games in his longest season.
"This is probably an at-bat that I will not forget for the rest of my life," said Ohtoni of his single who built the second run in a two-part second inning. "But I want more good clubs to help the team."
Scioscia did not say, but the left-hander Ohtani can not start on Friday as the A throws a left-hander starter, Sean Manaea, and there's a chance that Ohtani will reappear only on Sunday when he's his first major league Start on the hill. And if the nerves were different on Thursday, Sunday could fall out of the charts.
"As a hitter, I was never really nervous on the opening day (in Japan)," he said. "I was not really too nervous today, Sunday I'll be fine."
The A & # 39; s, who had not seen Ohtani in spring training, were impressed with their first meeting. Manager Bob Melvin said that the combination of speed and power he sees means "he seems to be the pain in my side" down the line. "He seems to be a terrific player."
Graveman, who made fun of Ohtani in his second match, said, "We did a good job limiting him to the only goal today."
Maybe not a player The last two decades, apart from his compatriot Ichiro Suzuki, were as much a question at the beginning of his MLB career. Ichiro was the first positional player to cross the Pacific, and the question was whether he could beat the big league pitch.
Ichiro hit .351, winning the American League title and MVP.
The question of Ohtani is whether he can both beat and beat at a major league level. He did not do much of them in the spring, went 4-for-32 (.125) on the plate and had a 27.00 ERA in two Cactus League games. Most of his work in the spring came in B-plays, an Intrasquad game and an exhibition game.
After the game, he waved off all Ichiro comparisons, or comparisons with any other Japanese hits that had made the landscape. Pacific travel.
"(Hideki) Matsui and Ichiro are completely different people," said Ohtani. "I did not really think about what they personally went through."
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