NEW YORK (AP) — Fans came for Sho time, to watch Shohei Ohtani perform Ruthian feats. Instead, the 26-year-old Japanese sensation exited almost as quickly as the Bambino did during a famous early career outing.
Offensive fireworks and mound magnificence had been combined by Ohtani in a manner not seen since Ruth pitched regularly for the Red Sox in 1919, the last season before Boston sold him to New York.
Taking the mound below Yankee Stadium’s famous facade, Ohtani failed miserably but spectacularly. He allowed a career-worst seven runs and got just two outs.
A miserably hot and humid night ended in a shocking Angels victory, unprecedented going back to at least 1900. Los Angeles became the first team to give up seven runs in the first inning and score seven in the ninth to win, beating the Yankees 11-8 at 1:06 a.m. Thursday in a game that took 5 hours, 57 minutes, including a pair of rain delays.
Ohtani is the talk of baseball, a focus of the All-Star Game, where he will be the first Japanese player in the Home Run Derby at Denver’s Coors Field on July 12.
He entered with a .278 batting average, leading the major leagues with 28 homers, third with 63 RBIs and second with a .688 slugging percentage after homering three times as a designated hitter during the first two games of the series. His 93.8 mph average exit velocity is fifth-hardest in the majors, trailing only the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (96.5), Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (95), Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. (94.1) and San Diego’s Manny Machado (93.9).
And he excelled on the bump, too, going 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 11 starts. His fastball averaged 95.4 mph, his devastating splitter among the best.
A curious crowd of 30,713, the largest since before the pandemic, greeted him with Bronx cheers instead of the…
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