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Shohei Ohtani makes history on MLB Opening Day by losing to Astros


Ohtani, 27, made history on Thursday by becoming the first player in American and National League history to throw out his team’s first pitch of the season and face his team’s first pitch as a batter. .

However, the Japanese star’s efforts, which included seven shots measured at 99 miles per hour, were in vain as the Los Angeles Angels lost 3-1 to the Houston Astros in a sold-out Angel Stadium.

The new “Ohtani Rule”, introduced ahead of the 2022 season, meant the two-way star stayed in the game as the designated hitter after he finished pitching.

“My splitter was all over the place, but I felt good with my fastball, curveball and slider,” Ohtani said, according to MLB.com

“I had a chance in my last at bat to tie the game, but I didn’t make it, which was disappointing. On the pitching side, I felt like the pitch count was high and it didn’t keep me in the game any longer.”

Despite his historic achievement, Ohtani was eclipsed by Framber Valdez, who threw 54 of 84 shots for strikes as the Astros earned a record 10th straight opening day win.

Valdez went 6 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 15 in a row during Thursday’s game.

“I made adjustments in spring training and the biggest thing was attacking the zone, getting ahead in the count and attacking the hitters,” he said.

In November, Ohtani was unanimously voted the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player.

The MVP award was in recognition of his feats featuring both on the mound and at the plate for the Angels, an achievement that drew comparisons to Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.

He is the second Japanese-born player to be voted MVP, following Ichiro Suzuki, who was voted AL MVP in 2001 when he played for the Seattle Mariners.

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