Shohei Ohtani showed some emotion as the Los Angeles Angels came back to defeat the New York Yankees on Monday night, 4-3, as the Bronx Bombers continue to trend downward.
Ohtani’s big moment came against Michael King in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Angels trailed by two runs. With a runner on first and down in the count 1-2, Ohtani smashed a pitch that was away but in the middle of the zone. Yankees catcher Jose Trevino knew the ball was gone immediately.
As Ohtani watched the ball fly out of Angel Stadium, he added an epic bat flip for good measure. It was his 35th home run of the season. Los Angeles would win the game in the 10th inning.
Ohtani’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors as the Aug. 1 deadline approaches. Angels owner Arte Moreno was adamant at the beginning of the year that the team would not look to trade him but a King’s ransom and the Angels entering Monday nine games behind the Texas Rangers for first place in the American League West division could change things.
Angels manager Phil Nevin said Ohtani really wants to win.
“He wants to win in the worst way. It’s just been frustrating for him the last two weeks as it is for everybody,” Nevin said. “He wants to win and he wants to win here.”
Should another team acquire Ohtani, they will have to be in the running to pay him once he hits free agency next season. MLB pundits have speculated that Ohtani could get a long-term contract worth up to $600 million next season. If that happens, it would be the richest contract in baseball history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.