Shohei Ohtani Debut Hit at Dodger Stadium Ends in Unexpected Mishap

Dodgers' new star faces early test in team debut.

by Zain ul Abedin
Shohei Ohtani Debut Hit at Dodger Stadium Ends in Unexpected Mishap
© Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

In a dramatic turn of events at Dodger Stadium, Shohei Ohtani's debut hit for the Dodgers spiraled into an unexpected debacle, despite the overall triumph of the team. Ohtani, who recently inked a staggering $700 million contract with the Dodgers, found himself embroiled in a base-running mishap that momentarily overshadowed his successful hit during his first at-bat against the Cardinals.

The incident unfolded in the opening inning when Mookie Betts initiated the game with a walk. Ohtani then expertly directed the ball down the right-field line, watching it roll to the wall. Eager to capitalize, Ohtani surged past first and rounded second, unaware that Betts had been stopped at third base.

This lapse in coordination led to a congested situation at third, resulting in Ohtani being called out, although Betts later scored off Freddie Freeman's single.

Ohtani's Learning Curve

Ohtani reflected on the confusion postgame, admitting his oversight in not picking up third-base coach Dino Ebel's signals promptly.

He acknowledged the rarity of such a predicament, expressing his intention to review and adjust his approach with Ebel to avoid future blunders. Despite the base-running error, the Dodgers showcased their formidable lineup against the Cardinals, cruising to a 7-1 victory.

Ohtani, alongside Betts and Freeman—three MVPs united in Los Angeles—demonstrated their collective prowess. Ohtani lamented his miss at a home run but was pleased with his overall performance, contributing significantly to the Dodgers' dominant display.

However, the backdrop to the Dodgers' season has been marred by controversy involving Ohtani's interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who is embroiled in a scandal related to $4.5 million in gambling debts. Accusations of Mizuhara stealing from Ohtani to settle these debts have surfaced, casting a shadow over the team's preparation.

Ohtani vehemently denied any involvement or knowledge of Mizuhara's alleged connections to illegal gambling, emphasizing his integrity and distance from the scandal. As the Dodgers navigate these turbulent waters, the focus remains on the dynamic trio of Betts, Ohtani, and Freeman, whose talents and teamwork promise a thrilling season ahead, despite the challenges off the field.

Shohei Ohtani Dodgers