• July 14, 2021

Sho-case: Shohei Ohtani wins the All-Star Game for the American League, also batting

DENVER | A case of Sho for Shohei Ohtani also became a great stage for Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Ohtani unleashed his 100 mph heat as he threw a perfect inning for victory and became baseball’s first two-way All-Star, Guerrero rocked Coors Field with a 468-foot home run and the American League went 5-2 on Tuesday night for the eighth in a row. victory.

Near and far, the entire focus of the sport was on Ohtani from the beginning.

Players on both sides climbed onto the dugout rails to watch him, and the Japanese sensation went 0-2, knocking himself down twice as AL leadoff hitter and designated hitter.

Jared Walsh, Ohtani’s teammate on the Los Angeles Angels, saved with his glove. He made a sliding catch in left field on Kris Bryant’s tricky liner with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning.

So even with teams dressed in new uniforms that social media deemed a strikeout rather than a home run, it was a familiar result. Mike Zunino also connected for the American League, as he improved to 46-43-2 overall in the series.

JT Realmuto homered for the National League on a mile-high night at Coors, baseball’s ultimate launching pad.

A 27-year-old right-hander in his fourth major league season, Ohtani has dazzled. He leads the majors with 33 home runs and is 4-1 in 13 starts as a pitcher, a two-way performance not seen since Babe Ruth in 1919 and ’20, before Bambino largely left the mound for slugging.

“This has been the best experience, the most memorable,” Ippei Mizuhara said through translator. “Obviously, I’ve never played in the playoffs or the World Series, so once I do that, I’ll probably get over it. But this has been the most memorable. “

Ohtani was a double- and triple-digit threat in Denver, hitting a 513-foot drive during Monday night’s Home Run Derby and throwing a 100.2 mph pitch at Nolan Arenado.

“It was as good as advertised,” Arenado said.

After a full day, Ohtani slept until 10:30 a.m. M.

“It was a lot more grueling compared to the regular season, but if everyone’s having fun, I’m good,” he said.

Major League Baseball even made a special rules adjustment for Ohtani, allowing him to be replaced as a pitcher and remain in the game as the designated hitter after he finished pitching. He hit two grounders: Pittsburgh second baseman Adam Frazier made a nice backhand play that avoided a hit off Max Scherzer early into the night.

Ohtani teamed with Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Nathan Eovaldi, Gregory Soto, Chris Bassitt, Andrew Kittredge, Matt Barnes and Liam Hendriks in an eight hit bat.

Hendriks got the save, helped by a lucky rebound that converted what would have been a wild pitch into one out at second.

Despite another strikeout season that has alarmed baseball leaders, National League hitters threw 12 strikeouts while American League hitters had just three strikeouts.

Still, the result sounded familiar. The American League has won 20 of the last 23 All-Star Games with a tie.

While everything is accurately measured these days, Guerrero’s run in the third inning against Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes was staggering even before Statcast revealed he was 468 feet tall, the longest since the All-Star Games in 2015. .

When the ball landed on top of the left-field seats underneath the massive video board, National League shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., another one of the “juniors” among a record 42 stars for the first time, slowly turned. and put both hands on his head.

Guerrero’s home run was the 200th in All-Star game history and followed the path at bat of his father, Vladimir Guerrero, who homered off Brad Penny in the 2006 game at Pittsburgh. They were joined by Bobby Bonds (1973) and Barry Bonds (1998 in Coors) and Ken Griffey Sr. (1980) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1992) as the only father-son duos with All-Star home runs.

Guerrero added an RBI ground in the fifth off Miami’s Trevor Rogers, and Boston’s Xander Bogaerts followed with an RBI single for a 4-0 lead. Both runs were added after shortstop Brandon Crawford made a mistake on a grounder by Teoscar Hernandez.

Toronto’s Marcus Semien had put the American League ahead with an RBI single in the second off Burnes, who took the loss.

Realmuto homered in the fifth off Soto, a more pedestrian 430-foot run that was the first by a Philadelphia All-Star since Mike Schmidt in 1981.

Zunino hit a 433-foot shot in the sixth off Taijuan Walker and allowed a touchdown pass into the bottom half.

A crowd of 49,184 filled Coors Field, a stark contrast to the 2020 regular season that was played in empty stadiums due to the pandemic and many games with limited fans in the first half of this season, while vaccinations became more frequent. .

Ohtani became the second consecutive Japanese pitcher to win the All-Star Game after Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees two years ago. Last year’s game was canceled when the pandemic delayed the start of the season until the end of July.

He retired Tatis, Max Muncy and Arenado, a Colorado fan favorite, in order in the bottom half, throwing 10 of 14 pitches for strikes.

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