The first championship in 14 years since 2009 is right in front of you. Head coach Hideki Kuriyama of Japan raised the tension to the fullest by leaving open the possibility of Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels), a “double sword”, to appear in the bullpen ahead of the final against the United States.

The Japanese baseball team beat Mexico 6-5 in the semifinals of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Rondipo Park in Miami, Florida, on the 21st (Korean time). In the bottom of the 9th inning when the team was trailing 4-5, Munetaka Murakami (Yakult) scored a timely hit to end the game with 2 RBIs and won the game by a come-from-behind victory. 바카라

Japan, which reached the final, competed for the championship with the defending champion, the United States, at the same place on the 22nd. Following 2006 and 2009, he will challenge for the third WBC championship. 

Attention is focused on the confrontation between Mike Trout (USA) and Shohei Ohtani (Japan), who are eating a pot of rice at the Los Angeles Angels of the US Major League (MLB). Both players are baseball geniuses representing their respective countries.

Outfielder Trout is considered one of the best hitters in his career. Debuting with the Angels in 2011, he hit 350 home runs in his MLB career, and left a splendid career, including 3 American League MVPs (2014, 2016, 2019), 9 Silver Sluggers, and 10 All-Star appearances.

Trout, who is captain of the U.S. national team, is leading the batting line with a batting average of 3.18, 1 home run, 7 RBIs, and an on-base percentage of .444 in 6 games in this tournament. 

Ohtani, who entered the big leagues in 2018, showed top-notch skills in both pitches and became a star. After winning the American League Rookie of the Year award from the first season of his debut, he achieved remarkable results such as MVP in 2021, Silver Slugger once, and All-Star twice.

Ohtani is also showing his true worth in the WBC. He has 2 wins in 2 games as a pitcher, an earned run average of 2.08, and a batting average of 4.5 as a hitter, 1 home run, 8 RBIs, and 9 runs scored. 

On the verge of winning the WBC, Ohtani expressed her desire to play in the bullpen in the final. He showed his strong will to win the match against Trout and Tuta.

After finishing the quarterfinals with Mexico, Ohtani said through Japanese media such as the Mainichi Shimbun, “I want to pitch as a bullpen pitcher in the finals.” Director Kuriyama also opened up the possibility, saying, “We have to look at Ohtani’s physical condition. The possibility of starting is not ‘zero’.”

The two players have a reputation as the best players in the world, but unfortunately, they were far from winning. Trout has never won a major league championship, and Ohtani hasn’t won a single championship since winning the 2016 Japan Series. That’s why the longing for this WBC championship is great.

Although he was a teammate, he met as an enemy in the WBC. At the end, only one can laugh, either Ohtani or Trout.

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