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The World Baseball Classic (WBC) final was held on March 22, 2017, in Los Angeles, California, USA. It was a thrilling game, filled with tension, drama, and great plays. Finally, Japan edged out the USA in the final match to win the WBC title for the second time in their history.
The game had everything that a baseball fan could hope for – amazing pitching, slick fielding, timely hitting, and some moments of individual brilliance. However, the highlight of the game was undoubtedly a showdown between two of the game’s biggest stars – Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. The two players, who play for the same team, the Los Angeles Angels, faced each other in the top of the ninth inning with the score tied at 1-1.
Ohtani had just come in to pitch for Japan after a brilliant start by Kodai Senga, who had held the American hitters to just one run in six innings. However, Ohtani was facing one of the best hitters in baseball in Trout, who had already hit a home run in the game. The fans at Dodger Stadium were on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who would come out on top in this epic battle between two superstars.
Ohtani started Trout off with a slider that just missed the outside corner of the plate. Trout took it for a ball, and the count was 1-0. Ohtani then went to his fastball and threw a 99-mph pitch right down the middle of the plate. Trout swung and missed, and the count was even at 1-1.
Ohtani then threw another slider that broke sharply away from Trout. Trout took a big swing but missed by a mile, and the count was now 1-2. The stadium was rocking, with the Japanese fans chanting “Ohtani! Ohtani!” and the American fans trying to rally their team.
On the next pitch, Ohtani went back to his fastball, throwing another 99-mph heater up and in on Trout’s hands. Trout was unable to react in time and swung and missed for the third strike. The stadium erupted in cheers as Ohtani had just struck out Trout in one of the biggest moments of the WBC final.
This was just one of many great moments in the game, as both teams played with great intensity and skill from start to finish. Japan had taken an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh. However, the USA tied things up in the sixth inning when Christian Yelich scored on a groundout by Nolan Arenado.
The game remained tied until the ninth inning, when Japan scored what turned out to be the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Norichika Aoki. The USA tried to rally in the bottom of the inning, but Ohtani shut them down to secure the victory for Japan.
This was a huge win for Japan, who had come into the tournament as one of the favorites but had been somewhat inconsistent in the early rounds. However, they had saved their best for last, winning their last two games against Cuba and the USA to claim the WBC title.
For the USA, it was a disappointing end to what had been a great tournament. They had come into the final as the top-ranked team in the world and had played some outstanding baseball throughout the WBC. However, they were unable to get the job done in the final, as Japan outplayed them in every facet of the game.
Overall, the WBC final was a great showcase for the sport of baseball, with two of the best teams in the world battling it out in a winner-takes-all showdown. While Japan were deserved winners, the USA can be proud of their efforts, and the tournament as a whole was a fantastic advertisement for the global appeal of baseball.
In the end, it was Shohei Ohtani who stole the show, striking out one of the game’s best hitters in the most crucial moment of the match. His performance was a reminder of just how talented and exciting young players like him can be, and his future in the game looks bright indeed.