Ohtani nets two hits, notches first RBI in debut win

Photo of Shohei Ohtani nets to let Dodgers win over Padres.

The Shohei Ohtani era has begun. Debuting for the Dodgers against the Padres in Game 1 of the Seoul Series at the Gocheok SkyDome in Korea, Ohtani demonstrated his versatility. In his much-anticipated debut, Ohtani showcased both power and speed. His third-inning single, recorded at 112.3 mph, marked his first hit with the Dodgers. Shortly thereafter, he swiftly stole his first base in Dodger blue.

The two-time unanimous AL MVP concluded his first game of the season with an eighth-inning RBI single, contributing to Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory. Here’s a summary of Ohtani’s performance in each of his first five at-bats of the 2024 regular season.

In the eighth inning, despite trailing 2-1, the Dodgers orchestrated three plays resulting in runs—a sacrifice fly, a fielding error due to a broken glove, and an RBI single by Mookie Betts—allowing them to take the lead.

This created an opportunity for Ohtani. Despite facing a 98 mph sinker on the inside corner from Morejon, Ohtani managed to hit it into center field for a single, securing his first RBI with the Dodgers. This hit brought Gavin Lux home and pushed Los Angeles ahead with a score of 5-2.

This represented Ohtani’s second career RBI on Opening Day, and the single also marked his first multihit game at the start of a season. With a 2-for-5 performance in Game 1 of the Seoul Series, Ohtani’s Opening Day record now stands at 5-for-30.

Ohtani struggled to connect solidly with a down-and-in changeup thrown by the left-handed Peralta. Peralta promptly dashed towards the first-base line, collected the softly hit ball, spun around, and narrowly threw out Ohtani at first base. In the fifth inning against Tom Cosgrove, Ohtani’s hopes for an opposite-field single were dashed.

Similar to his first at-bat, Ohtani stepped up to the plate for his third appearance after Betts reached base to start the inning. Facing the left-handed pitcher Cosgrove, Ohtani battled a 1-0 sinker, directing it towards the left side of the infield.

Although the ball came close to slipping through, third baseman Tyler Wade executed an impressive diving stop and throw to retire Betts, resulting in Ohtani’s second fielder’s choice of the game.

With two outs, Ohtani encountered a 2-2 fastball up in the zone from Darvish and drove it into right field at 112.3 mph—marking his hardest-hit ball on any Opening Day. This hit marked Ohtani’s fourth Opening Day hit, all of which were singles. The single followed shortly after Ohtani fouled a ball deep down the right-field line at 119.2 mph.

Following this, Ohtani dashed for second base on the first pitch to Freddie Freeman and successfully stole his first base with the Dodgers. The throw from Padres catcher Luis Campusano was nowhere near close, marking Ohtani’s first steal attempt on Opening Day.

Although the Dodgers loaded the bases, Ohtani was left stranded on third when Darvish struck out Max Muncy to close the inning. After Betts drew a leadoff walk, Ohtani made contact with a 2-1 sinker from Darvish to Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim. Ohtani hustled down the first-base line, turning what could have been a potential double play into a simple fielder’s choice.


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