On the strength of their stellar pitching, Shohei Ohtani and Team Japan took Mike Trout and Team USA down in the 2023 World Baseball Classic finals, 3-2. The end of that game was an instantly iconic moment, one that will forever be remembered especially by Japanese baseball fans, as Ohtani closed the door for good on the United States by striking out his Los Angeles Angels teammate.
After the game, Shohei Ohtani revealed that he was surprised that Mike Trout would turn out to be the last out of the contest.
“I was not expecting him to be literally the last batter of the game,” Shohei Ohtani said via an interpreter while getting interviewed on FOX Sports and with baseball legends Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz listening to him. “I thought it was a possibility, but I can't believe that he was actually the last batter of the game.”
It's not easy to fathom just how incredible Shohei Ohtani was during Japan's entire run in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. During the tourney, Ohtani went 10-for-45 for a .435 batting average to go with a 1.345 OPS. As for pitching, he posted a 1.86 ERA, a 0.72 WHIP, 11 strikeouts, two wins, and a save in 9.2 innings of work on the mound.
Ohtani also had the highest exit velocity, a share of the fastest pitch, and a tie for the longest home run.
Shohei Ohtani will take a bit of rest as he celebrates the win with his teammates and his entire nation before getting back to work.
The Angeles open their 2023 MLB schedule on Mar. 30 against the Oakland A's on the road.