For baseball fans, few things generate more excitement than a pitcher throwing a triple-digits fastball.
Watching the ball explode in the catcher’s mitt, hearing that sound, and looking at the small particles of dust that come off it after that is a truly satisfying scene.
Each year, more and more pitchers in MLB are capable of reaching 100 mph.
Few of them have command of the pitch as good as the Los Angeles Angels‘ Shohei Ohtani.
You don’t post a 2.33 ERA over 166 innings if you don’t have an explosive heater.
It’s possible – see Maddux, Greg – but highly unlikely.
Ohtani, however, can get to that velocity even before starting his regular season with the Angels.
That means he has been preparing for the World Baseball Classic for a while.
He was successful in the process, because he took the ball in Japan’s first game of the competition against China and did this:
Shohei Ohtani, 100mph ⛽️
[And "I'm about to throw 100mph" face] pic.twitter.com/3Tyh94jtuW
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 9, 2023
Again, the velocity is mightily impressive, but the location of the pitch makes it impossible to hit for a Chinese team that has no major leaguers.
In Japan’s 8-1 victory, Ohtani pitched four frames with no runs allowed and five strikeouts.
He didn’t walk anyone and, as you could see, showed some of his best stuff.
The competition will start to increase with each passing game, and Ohtani likely won’t appear again until the next round, at least as a pitcher.
He will keep showing the talent that makes him one of the top left-handed hitters in the game on an everyday basis, though.NEXT: Angels Manager Has A Great Plan Against Mike Trout And Team USA