Shohei Ohtani breaks Hideki Matsui’s MLB record for HR by a player of Japanese descent – Yahoo Sports

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Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers found another way to leave his mark in the MLB record books on Sunday, breaking Hideki Matsui’s record for most home runs by a player of Japanese descent.

Ohtani hit his 176th career home run in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 10-0 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. He hit a 423-foot shot off Mets starter Adrian Houser into the right-field stands, giving the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead.

Matsui passed the high water mark in his final MLB season in 2012, with few serious challengers since then. Most Japanese players who move to the United States are pitchers, and many hitters are trained in the Ichiro Suzuki mold, favoring contact over power.

Ohtani is obviously an exception to this rule. The Dodgers superstar is known for doing everything well, but his power stands out like few others in the MLB landscape. He won the American League home run title last season, which made him the first Japanese-born player to lead the league.

The Dodgers scored eight runs in the fifth inning alone on Sunday, thanks to two RBI doubles and then a three-run homer by Andy Pages. From there, the Dodgers simply headed for the shutout to conclude their series with the Mets.

Most MLB home runs by Japanese-born MLB players

1. Shohei Ohtani, 176 years old
2. Hideki Matsui, 175 years old
3. Ichirō Suzuki, 117 years old
4. Kenji Johjima, 48 years old
5. Tadahito Iguchi 44

Shohei Ohtani continues to hit despite the Ippei Mizuhara scandal

Ohtani equaled Matsui’s record on April 14 and needed only seven days to take sole possession. This date coincides with the arrest of Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, for bank fraud.

Coverage of Mizuahara’s alleged $16 million theft from Ohtani has dominated coverage of the star since the start of the season, his first with the Dodgers after signing a record $700 million, 10-year contract in free agency . The Dodgers fired Mizuhara the day after their season opener when Ohtani’s camp accused him of stealing $4.5 million.

The story was initially dominated by confusion over a claim from Ohtani’s camp that the star himself had agreed to repay Mizuhara’s illegal gambling debts, but later reporting showed that was the product of Mizuhara controlling all communications with Ohtani. Once given a new interpreter, Ohtani claimed to have no knowledge of Mizuhara using his money to pay off his illegal gambling debts.

As a government criminal complaint meticulously alleges, Mizuhara took control of Ohtani’s bank account and stole more than $16 million to help him pay off more than $40 million in debts he owed. accumulated with an illegal bookmaker. Mizuhara allegedly went so far as to impersonate Ohtani on the phone to maintain control and was only able to do so after federal agents raided the bookmaker.

Ohtani was reportedly in the dark about this until after the Dodgers’ season opener, despite the fact that his camp was working behind the scenes to formulate a response to the upcoming reports.

Mizuhara now faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. His lawyer has expressed willingness to reach a deal with prosecutors rather than proceed to trial. Meanwhile, Ohtani and the Dodgers said they just wanted to move on and focus on baseball.

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