Shohei Ohtani Defies Asian-Athlete Stereotypes in MLB Debut

Shohei Ohtani Defies Asian-Athlete Stereotypes in MLB Debut

"You just give us any room, we can bounce back". But it's what 23-year-old did on the mound against the division-rival Oakland Athletics on Sunday that has the baseball world abuzz.

Six different Oakland players drove in a run on Saturday.

Even the two-way Japanese sensation realized his first home pitching start was a thrilling moment in his increasingly incredible rookie season. This is due to the fact that Ohtani has a unsafe splitter ball in his arsenal, a pitch he used to retire four batters.

Ohtani got a lineout to short to open the inning, but he fell behind 2-0 to Marcus Semien smashed single through the left of the infield. With increased reliance on that pitch, the hard-throwing Cole could reach new heights in 2018.Video: HOU@TEX: Cole fans 11 in debut with AstrosGregory Polanco, outfielder, Pirates: Polanco bulked up prior to the 2017 season, but according to the outfielder, the increased muscle mass led to slower bat speed and contributed to the nagging hamstring injuries he battled throughout the year. However, Ohtani carefully chose to join the comparably smaller-franchise Los Angeles Angels after a month-long contract negotiation with the Fighters.

"Especially with how my spring training went, I wasn't really imagining [the start of the season] to be this good, to be honest", Ohtani said.

Pirates 5, Reds 0 • In Pittsburgh, Jameson Taillon (2-0) pitched a one-hitter for his first shutout in 45 major league starts, allowing Tyler Mahle's single to center with one out in the third. His next pitching start comes Sunday at home, and fantasy owners should be pumped - not just for his performance, but for also being smart enough to not buy into those spring totals. Then, on Friday, he hit his third homer in as many games.

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Ohtani won his big league pitching debut with six strong innings at Oakland one week ago.

Ohtani homered off Cleveland Indians Josh Tomlin on Tuesday and reigning American League Cy Young Award victor Corey Kluber on Wednesday. Just like we've told you each and every season.

"It's a rare kind of talent to do it both ways, and it's great to watch", second baseman Zack Cozart said.

I can't speak for all baseball fans, but Ohtani has rapidly become an important figure in my life since opening day. "I think things are going well because opponents don't know much about me".

"I wanted to keep a clean zero on the board", Ohtani said. Ohtani is also accomplishing this all while living in a foreign country with a starkly different culture and racial discrimination against Asians. His story makes me think of my own grandparents, who left South Korea to live in the United States in the 1950s and faced similar challenges.

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