With six runs in the last three innings, Team Japan defeated Mexico, 6-5, in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) semifinals.
They walked things off in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a Munetaka Murakami (who hit 56 home runs in the last NPB season) double off the wall that plated two runs.
Despite starting the quarterfinal game against Italy, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani declared himself ready to take the ball in the final against the United States.
That game will be played on Tuesday night, at 7:00 pm ET at loanDepot Park in Miami.
Ohtani won’t start: that is a responsibility reserved for left-hander Shota Imanaga.
However, he could potentially be available from the bullpen, even if the Angels don’t necessarily like it.
“Shohei Ohtani to Ken Rosenthal on FOX: ‘I’ll definitely be prepared to pitch (tomorrow).’ It’d be in relief presumably, if it does happen,” Angels insider Sam Blum tweeted.
Shohei Ohtani to Ken Rosenthal on FOX: "I'll definitely be prepared to pitch (tomorrow)."
It'd be in relief presumably, if it does happen.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) March 21, 2023
This is a golden opportunity for Ohtani, and he would surely love to get the chance to pitch against USA in the final.
His country is very important to him, and he has proudly represented it this spring.
He has a 1.421 OPS with eight RBI in the tournament as a hitter, and a 2.08 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP as a hurler.
So far, Ohtani is one of a few candidates to win the MVP award in the tournament.
If Japan wins, it should be him; and if America wins, it will most likely be Trea Turner and his four homers and 10 RBI.NEXT: The Angels Weren't Sure Who To Root For On Monday