Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout has finally opened up about his “that day” at bat.
He’s referring to his last at-bat in the bottom of the ninth inning against Shohei Ohtani in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) final.
On March 22 (ET) in the final at the Tokyo Dome, Trout struck out swinging against Ohtani, who came in to close out a one-run victory. On a full count, he swung at an 87.2-mph sweeper outside off.
The encounter, which was the first ever between the two and was dubbed the “match of the century,” is still talked about by fans to this day.
However, Trout hasn’t spoken about the at-bat since.
However, before Game 2 of the Freeway Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 22, the Dodgers slugger asked Mookie Betts, who played with Team USA at the WBC, to recall the memory of Otani. It was on local media outlet Bleacher Report’s “On Base.
“Before I stepped into the batter’s box that day, I thought, ‘I’m finally going to meet him.’ I’d only seen him from behind,” he laughs, “and I was determined to hit a home run. I think that’s why my at-bat was so shaky, but my mind was clear. I was going to rob him of a home run.”
Trailing 2-3 in the top of the ninth off Ohtani, the U.S. led off with a walk to Jeff McNeil, but Betts threw cold water on the play by hitting a line drive straight to the second baseman. Trout, who stepped to the plate, struck out, bringing tears to Thurman’s eyes.
It was only the second time in his career that Trout had stepped to the plate with a home run in mind. The first time he stepped up to the plate for the “big one” was on May 22, 2013, in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners, when he left the bases loaded on a cycling hit. Trout completed the cycle with a mid-month solo shot off then-left-hander Lucas Rickey.
But against Ohtani, he took three swings to get to a full count, let alone a home run. “I had a pitch that I should have hit, a 100-mph fastball in the middle of the plate with two strikes on 1-0, but I couldn’t get it,” said Trout. “I haven’t talked to Ohtani about that at-bat yet,” he said, “because it was so messy. I’ll just put it in the past.”
The implication is that the encounter, which was closely watched by baseball fans around the world, remains a painful memory for the youngster. For Ohtani, of course, it was one of the most emotional moments of his life.바카라사이트
As Trout was wrapping up his memories of the encounter, Betts asked him a question. How much do you think Ohtani will get in free agency later this year?
Without hesitation, Trout replied, “I think $500 million or $600 million. That’s a lot of money.” That would easily surpass his own major league record of $426.5 million.