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Ethan Sears on Angels: There are times when it’s easy to forget that what Shohei Ohtani is doing is anything but unprecedented. And then there are times like Wednesday night.
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Ohtani, who threw and hit in the lead, was wrong the whole game. The rest will be considered one of the best individual games played in Major League Baseball this year.
That mistake – a curveball from the first pitch that Willi Castro caught deep in the fifth inning – was the cause of the only run that Ohtani gave up in eight innings. He only threw 90 shots. He took out eight. He hit his 40th home run, which leads the majors.
“What could you say that hasn’t already been said?” Angels manager Joe Maddon said after the game.
Even giving up a home run is rare for Ohtani, who started Wednesday with the second-best home run rate in the American League. But it was also the extent of the score Detroit would make against him in a possible 3-1 Angels victory that brought them down to .500 at 61-61.
Throwing and leading, Ohtani extended a streak that saw him enter Wednesday with a 1.69 ERA since early July. He regularly blew his fastball through hitters at 94 mph, used his divider to finish off the guys – Harold Castro, Renato Nuñez and Miguel Cabrera among them – and kept the Tigers’ offense quiet all night.
In addition to the AL MVP, Ohtani could put himself on the card for the Cy Young Award.
“Make a deal, absolutely,” Maddon said. “He’s in the middle of everything. Every prize that will be awarded this year, it’s in the middle of it. “
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Luca Evans on the Dodgers: The vocals were so weak that at first it almost sounded like a question.
In the opening goal at bat by first baseman Max Muncy in Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, between throws, a few weak touches of “MVP” echoed amid a crowded crowd at Dodger Stadium.
Perhaps the lack of conviction was due to San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and his 34 homers this season. Perhaps it was due to the long run that Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper has. Maybe it was the fact that Muncy had calmed down a bit since the All-Star break.
But after the Dodgers slugger got around the basics for the second time in just the fourth inning for his fifth homer in the last four games, pulling him within a few percentage points of Harper for the NHL lead in OPS, the first soft screams from fans turned into a strong endorsement.
“MUN-CY! »« MUN-CY! »« MUN-CY! “
“It’s good, it’s awesome,” manager Dave Roberts said on hearing the MVP’s chants. “Whenever fans recognize that you have a potential MVP, you have to do something right.”
His two home runs and five RBIs propelled the Dodgers to a 9-0 victory – and, potentially, himself a chance to fight in the race for the NL’s most valuable player.
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LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
Jack Harris on Little League: For the first time in nearly three decades, a Los Angeles County team will compete in the Little League Baseball World Series starting Thursday.
Torrance Little League will open the game in Williamsport, Pa., After finishing second in the West Regional last week, becoming the first LA County team since Northridge in 1994 to reach the finals of the national tournament.
“Coming to Williamsport is surreal,” said coach Javier Chavez. “It’s the biggest stage in Little League baseball. Playing on these magnificent grounds and stadiums and having visibility for the children… it’s a dream come true for all of us.
Here are five things to know at the start of the event.
Gary Klein on the Rams: A pass was intercepted and intercepted by a safety from the Las Vegas Raiders. Another, apparently put in play, was recovered by a cornerback. Then another downhill pass was intercepted by former Rams linebacker Cory Littleton.
Those three turnovers for quarterback Matthew Stafford stood out on Wednesday as the Rams held the first of two joint practices with the Raiders at the Thousand Oaks Rams training center.
Neither Stafford coach nor Rams coach Sean McVay seemed too worried.
“I made a few bad decisions that I would like to get back – it’s practice,” Stafford said, adding that the Rams were using, “some of the new things we’re putting in place, and I want to make sure to have reps at that. I have to do a better job of making sure we finish with the ball at the end of every game.
McVay does not play starters or other important players during preseason games, making joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys and Raiders significant opportunities to assess players, play calls and stratagems.
THIS DATE IN SPORT
1909 – The first race takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Twelve thousand spectators watch Austrian engineer Louis Schwitzer win a five-mile race at an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour. The surface of the crushed stone and tar track shattered in several places and caused the death of two pilots, two mechanics and two spectators.
1921 – Detroit’s Ty Cobb gets his 3,000th career hit at 34, the youngest player to reach that plateau.
1934 – Helen Hull Jacobs wins the women’s title from the US Lawn Tennis Assn. championships.
1981 – Renaldo Nehemiah sets the world record in the 110m hurdles with a time of 12.93 seconds at a competition in Zurich, Switzerland.
1984 – Lee Trevino defeats Gary Player and Lanny Wadkins by four strokes to win the PGA Championship in Shoal Creek, Alabama.
1993 – Sergei Bubka wins his fourth consecutive pole vault title at the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
1995 – Mike Tyson begins his comeback by knocking out Peter McNeeley in 89 seconds in Las Vegas. McNeeley’s manager Vinnie Vecchione jumps into the ring to stop the fight after his boxer is knocked down twice in the first round.
2001 – Michael Schumacher secures his fourth Formula 1 championship and equals Alain Prost’s record 51 victories by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix.
2016 – Usain Bolt scores another sweep, winning three gold medals in his third consecutive Olympics. At the Rio de Janeiro Games, Bolt turned a tight 4×100 relay race against Japan and the United States into a typical Bolt runaway, helping Jamaica cross the line in 37.27 seconds. Allyson Felix wins an unprecedented fifth gold medal in women’s track and field, racing the second stage of the 4×100-meter relay team.
2018 – Jockey Drayden Van Dyke wins a record seven races at Del Mar, including the $ 200,000 Del Mar Mile. It equals Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza for the most wins in a single day in the history of the seaside track. Van Dyke’s only loss in eight mounts came when he finished second in race six.
Highlights of Shohei Ohtani’s performance on Wednesday. Watch it here.