Zaslal: po 11. únor, 2019 3:41 Předmět: Masahiro Tanaka
ANAHEIM Ken Griffey Jersey , Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani could have shut it down already. He could have wrapped up his singular rookie season with the Los Angeles Angels and proceeded straight to the Tommy John surgery looming for him next week.Instead, Ohtani is still slugging away in the eighth inning of a sparsely attended night game in the final days of September between two teams that won’t get anywhere near the playoffs this year.He is facing Texas’ Chris Martin, his teammate last season in Japan. Ohtani pounces on a pitch up in the zone and drives it the opposite way, flashing the all-fields power that still stuns.His shoot hits the top of the left field wall and bounds into the bullpen. The tiebreaking homer is his 22nd of the year, matching his best pro total with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.“You’ve seen him get progressively better as the season has gone on,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “This experience is invaluable to him — to be able to finish strong, see as much pitching as he can, log it and be ready for next year to swing the bat.”Ohtani’s patient, almost ascetic approach to baseball has been evident ever since he agreed to join the Angels last winter. In doing so, he passed up untold millions that he could have made by waiting a couple of years in Japan, instead hurrying stateside to begin the long process of mastering the big leagues as a pitcher and a hitter.So it was no surprise to his teammates and coaches when he decided to keep hitting until October, even after he realized his pitching elbow would require surgery . It’s also no surprise that he plans to hit throughout next season without giving up on his long-term plan to be a two-way player.The 24-year-old is focused on the long view, but every small step along the path is vital.“I think the way I finish the season is really important to me, whether it’s good or bad,” Ohtani said. “Because I know what to work on during the offseason. This time I was able to finish strong, so it was a really good feeling.”Ohtani heads into the Angels’ final three games of 2018 batting .283 with 22 homers, 59 RBIs and a .930 OPS in just 355 plate appearances. Before he felt pain in his pitching elbow in early June, he had 63 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA in just 10 starts of tantalizing quality.Despite the arm injury that ended his pitching efforts and kept him from batting for most of June, Ohtani is a top contender for the AL Rookie of the Year award. Voters must evaluate Ohtani’s unique talents next to the more conventional hitting prowess of New York Yankees sluggers Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.Ohtani’s persistence has proven to be one of his greatest strengths — and that isn’t always the case with athletes of his prodigious gifts.When he took a two-month break from pitching, he struggled at the plate to start July — but then batted .328 in August with six homers and 18 RBIs. After his return to the mound in early September went poorly and left him facing the inevitability of Tommy John, Ohtani improbably racked up four homers and 10 RBIs in his first four games back at the plate.The Angels attribute that resilience to Ohtani’s mental toughness, which is a key complement to his unique skills.“He’s got a great makeup,” Scioscia said. “I think he understands the separation of pitching and hitting. He’s able to take that batting helmet off and put that pitcher’s cap on and go pitch when he’s going to pitch, and when he’s hitting, he’s focused on hitting. He just wants to play baseball http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-ichiro-suzuki-jersey , whatever he can do. So I know he’s looking forward to pitching, but I think it’s an easy sideways step for him to become just a hitter. He just loves to play the game.”Away from the field, Ohtani appears to be settled smoothly in Orange County with his new club. While he doesn’t speak in public without Ippei Mazuhara, his translator and constant companion at Angel Stadium, he clearly understands much more English than he did in April — and more Spanish, as evidenced in his spirited recent rendition of “Despacito” on the team bus.Ohtani is finishing this season batting cleanup as the Angels’ designated hitter, and he’s likely to resume that role in 2019. While the Angels remain firmly committed to supporting Ohtani’s two-way skills, everyone around the club is eager to see what Ohtani can accomplish while he’s largely focused on just one side of his two-way game.“The thing about Shohei is he’s got the potential to do it all, and he’s committed to getting there,” Scioscia said. “It’s not often you see that combination in a guy, and he’s got it all.” NEW YORK (AP) — Eduardo Nunez charged Gleyber Torres‘ four-hopper toward third base and whipped the ball across the diamond . Steve Pearce stretched, falling on his chest for a sprawling catch. The umpire signaled: “Out!”The Boston Red Sox gathered around exhausted closer Craig Kimbrel, hugging and celebrating after the New York Yankees‘ two-run rally in the ninth inning fell short.But wait!In 21st century baseball, the game doesn’t always end when it seems, hanging in limbo until umpires in a downtown Manhattan replay room agree .A Yankee Stadium crowd of 49,641 wondered and the Red Sox paused as they watched from the infield in suspended celebration, fixated on the center-field video board.After 63 seconds that felt like a lot longer, crew chief Mike Winters heard the decision, took off his headset, raised his right fist and made it official: The Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-3 Tuesday night to win the AL Division Series 3-1, setting up a postseason rematch with the World Series champion Astros.“I’ve been talking about them the whole season, so now we go,” said Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora, Houston’s bench coach last year. “Best of seven. They know me. I know them. It should be fun.”J.D. Martinez and the 108-win Red Sox reached the AL Championship Series for the first time since Boston won the title in 2013. A year after losing to Houston in a four-game ALDS, the Red Sox open the best-of-seven matchup against the 103-win Astros on Saturday night at Fenway Park. Houston went 4-3 against Boston this year.“Awesome to clinch this one Kyle Seager Jersey ,” Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes said, “but we’ve got eight more.”A New Jersey native who grew up a Mets fan, Rick Porcello held the Yankees to one run over five innings for his first postseason win in 13 appearances. Barnes and Ryan Brasier followed with a perfect inning each to protect a 4-1 lead.Red Sox ace Chris Sale told Cora when he arrived at the ballpark that he wanted to pitch, and he followed with a 1-2-3 eighth in a rare relief appearance that extended the Yankees’ streak of consecutive outs to 11.New York had not put a leadoff runner on until Kimbrel, a seven-time All-Star closer, walked Aaron Judge on four pitches leading off the ninth.Didi Gregorius singled and Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Luke Voit walked on four pitches, and Kimbrel hit Neil Walker on a leg with a next pitch , forcing in a run that made it 4-2.Gary Sanchez fell behind 0-2 in the count, worked it full and sent a drive that had the crowd roaring only for Andrew Benintendi to catch it on the left-field warning track, a few feet short of a series-tying grand slam .“I hit it well. But I got under it,” Sanchez said through a translator.Then came Torres’ bouncer.“You never want to give a game back and go to a Game 5, so it’s great that we could do it tonight,” said Kimbrel, who got his second save of the series.A night after Boston romped to a record-setting 16-1 rout in a game that included three replay reversals, Martinez, Ian Kinsler and Nunez drove in runs in the third inning off a wobbly CC Sabathia, who took the loss. For the second straight night, Yankees rookie manager Aaron Boone hesitated to remove his starting pitcher early.When Boone brought in Zach Britton to start the fourth, and Christian Vazquez led off with an opposite-field drive over the short porch in right field for his first career postseason homer.Not even the presence of 1978 AL East tiebreaker star Bucky Dent for the ceremonial first pitch could inspire the 100-win Yankees, who were outscored 27-14 in the series, including 20-4 in the final two games. New York set a major league record this year for most home runs in a season, but didn’t go deep in the two games at Yankee Stadium and hit .214 in the series, which included 3 for 14 by Gregorius, 1 for 15 by Andrew McCutchen and 3 for 15 by Sanchez.Stanton http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-nelson-cruz-jersey , New York’s big acquisition last offseason, was 4 for 18 (.222) with no RBIs.“I don’t want to experience the postseason. I want to win it all,” Stanton said. Dent’s home run over Fenway Park’s Green Monster in the 1978 AL East tiebreaker propelled the Yankees to their second straight World Series title, but Boston eliminated its rival in the Bronx in the teams’ second straight postseason meeting. In the 2004 ALCS — with Barnes in the crowd as a teen, rooting for the Yankees — the Red Sox became the first big league team to overcome 3-0 postseason deficit, winning the final two games on the road and going on to sweep the World Series for its first title since 1918.Boston added championships in 2007 and 2013, becoming one of baseball’s elite clubs. But the Red Sox were knocked out in the Division Series in 2016 and ’17, had not reached the sport’s final four since their last title.A lanky, bearded 29-year-old right-hander, Porcello lived a traffic jam from Yankee Stadium in Chester, New Jersey, and is a 2007 graduate of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange — the baseball field there was renamed in his honor last year after he helped fund artificial turf and pro-style dugouts. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner entered with a 0-3 in 12 previous postseason appearances, which included four starts.He didn’t allow a run until a sacrifice fly in the fifth by Brett Gardner , like Sabathia playing perhaps his last game for the Yankees. Aaron Hicks missed a two-run homer by about 4 feet on a foul drive down the right-field line.Sabathia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when Kinsler hit an inning-ending flyout to Gardner in front of the left-field wall. Sabathia nicked Benintendi on the right shoulder with a slider on his first pitch of the third, Pearce sliced a cutter into right-center to put runners at the corners and Martinez hit a third-inning sacrifice fly for second straight night , giving him a series-high six RBIs.With David Robertson starting to warm up, Kinsler hit a two-out double over a leaping Gardner for a 2-0 lead and Nunez singled on the next pitch for his first RBI of the postseason.New York’s starting pitchers allowed 15 runs in 13 innings, and Masahiro Tanaka was the only one to get an out in the fourth — a sign the Yankees may pursue top free-agent pitchers such as Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin.“I think we’re right there knocking on the door,” Boone said, “very close to being a championship club right now. We just got to continue to improve on the margins in every facet. Pitching is one of those.”BEHIND THE PLATEA night after three of his calls at first base were reversed on video reviews, Angel Hernandez was the plate umpire. Benintendi argued after he was called out on a breaking ball with the bases loaded for the final out of the eighth, a pitch that may have been outside. Sabathia was livid. “I don’t think Angel Hernandez should be umping playoff games,” he said. “He’s absolutely terrible. He was terrible behind the plate today. He was terrible at first base.” Major League Baseball declined comment, spokesman Mike Teevan said.
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