Baseball: Ohtani keys Japan’s WBC run with physicality and mindset


Shohei Ohtani’s bunt single has been a hot topic among baseball fans since it ignited a four-run third inning that keyed Japan’s 9-3 World Baseball Classic quarterfinal win over Italy on Thursday.

Most fans expect to see the two-way superstar swing for the fences every time he steps to the plate. But with the game scoreless, one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the third, Ohtani caught fans and Team Italy by surprise with the bunt to set the stage for cleanup hitter Masataka Yoshida.

“It was a choice that offered a big payoff,” Ohtani said. “It wasn’t about being proud.”

Yoshida, a n...

Kyodo News

Kyodo News