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Ohtani ‘goes 3-for-3 in front of his wife’, Kwak Bin-Yi Li, Won Seok Kwi overcomes a tough challenge

For the second straight day, the bat of the “$700 million man” Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Dodgers) has been silent. With the KBO’s top young pitchers shutting him down, his hit production in South Korea has been put on hold for another day.

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Team Korea 5-2 in a special MLB World Tour Seoul Series game at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 18. It was the second consecutive day that the Dodgers picked up a convincing victory, following a 14-3 sweep of the Kiwoom Heroes the day before.

The Dodgers were unable to overwhelm Team Korea with their bats, unlike the day before when they blasted Kiwoom Mound. They got on the board in the top of the first inning against Korean starter Kwak Bin Kwak, but the runners were stranded on base on a walk and a hit by pitch.

Max Muncy’s RBI double and Will Smith’s RBI single in the bottom of the third made it 4-2 before Chris Taylor’s solo home run in the bottom of the seventh put Team Korea away.

But the much-hyped bat of Shohei Ohtani remained silent. Ohtani had batted second in the lineup against Kiwoom the day before and struck out in consecutive at-bats.

Ohtani tried to get his bat going against Team Corea, but the KBO’s young pitching staff proved too much for him. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, he hit a foul fly to third base against Team Korea starter Kwak Bin.

Kwak Binh Kwak wiped away the pain of being doubled by Ohtani in the World Baseball Classic last March in a rematch that came a year later. After getting two strikes with a fastball in the low 150s, Kwak stole Ohtani’s timing with a 133-mph changeup on a one-ball two-strike count.

Ohtani was stranded at first base with one out in the bottom of the third inning with the Dodgers trailing 1-2 when he flied out to left-hander Lee Lee off a changeup. His timing was off in his second at-bat of the inning as well, as his bat was completely late to Lee’s 143 mph two-seam fastball.

Oh also failed to reach base in his third at-bat in the bottom of the fourth. He grounded to second off Team Korea’s other left-hander, Oh Won-seok. He tried a first-pitch slider but couldn’t get it down. Oh had no choice but to walk away.

Ohtani is the undisputed star of Major League Baseball. Since entering the big leagues in 2018, he has become known for his dual role as pitcher and hitter. After winning the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year award in 2018, he was unanimously named the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2021 and 2023.

Ohtani became eligible for free agency after the 2023 season and was evaluated by the market. The Los Angeles Dodgers invested a staggering $700 million (KRW 93 billion) over 10 years to retain Ohtani.

Ohtani batted .579 (11-for-19) with two home runs and nine RBIs in the recently concluded spring training exhibition games in a Dodgers uniform, signaling a 토토 breakout 2024 season.

But since arriving in South Korea for the MLB World Tour’s Seoul Series, Ohtani’s hitting has slowed down. He hasn’t been performing at 100% due to long flights and jet lag.

The official opening two games of the 2024 season will be held at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul. The ‘MLB World Tour Seoul Series 2024 with Coupang Play’ (hereinafter referred to as the Seoul Series) will feature San Diego and LA Dodgers.

Prior to the start of the Seoul Series, four special games will be held on March 17 and 18 at Gocheok Sky Dome. On March 17, the Dodgers will play the Kiwoom Heroes at 12 p.m., Team Korea (South Korea’s national team) will play San Diego at 7 p.m., and on March 18, San Diego will play the LG Twins at 12 p.m. and Team Korea will play the Dodgers at 7 p.m.

This year’s Major League Baseball Seoul Series will be the ninth opening series in Major League Baseball history to be held outside of the 50 United States and Canada. It will be the third in Asia, following Japan and Australia.

As part of Major League Baseball’s emphasis on the “globalization of baseball,” the league’s governing body is launching the MLB World Tour, starting with the opening game in Seoul.

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