The team beat the Colorado Rockies 7-4 in an exhibition game of the 2024 Major League Baseball at Camel Bagrench in Glendale, Arizona. Dodgers secured victory by banking on its MVP lineup, which includes Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman.

In particular, Ohtani stood out. On the day, Ohtani recorded three hits, two RBIs and two runs from three times at bat. Ohtani posted an on-base hit of 0.714 (5 hits from seven times at bat) and a slugging percentage of 1.429 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 2.207.

Ohtani’s bat was hot throughout the game. He produced a hit from his first at bat in the first inning. With no outs and a runner on the first base, Ohtani had a hit to the right field. When the opponent team’s starter Austin Gomber’s ball drove into the middle of the strike zone, he boldly turned the bat. After getting on base, Ohtani settled on the third base when his follow-up hitter Freeman hit, and scored a run thanks to Will Smith’s sacrifice fly to the center field.

Ohtani also had a hit in his second at-bat. When Betts had a double in the second inning and runners on the second base with one out, Ohtani hit a triple to the left. He did not miss Gomber’s mistake again this time. Betts homered due to Ohtani’s long hit. After getting on base, Ohtani hit a home plate due to his opponent’s mistake during Freeman’s at-bat.

Ohtani produced a hit in the third inning, too. Ohtani took the batter’s box when he had a chance to hit the ball to the right field by hitting Noah Davis’ pitch, which was made by Andy Page’s walk and Betts’ hit to the first and second bases. Page homered, and the Dodgers continued to have chances to hit the first and third bases. Ohtani was replaced by a pinch runner and finished playing in the game.

The Major League’s official website, , also highlighted Ohtani’s performance. The media said, “Ohtani led the game against Colorado with three hits in three at-bats, two RBIs and two runs scored. He continued his on-base streak with seven consecutive at-bats,” adding that Ohtani has maintained a hot hitting sense in exhibition games. “Ohtani played in three exhibition games of spring training, and posted a slash line with a batting average of 0.714 on-base percentage of 0.778 and a slugging percentage of 1.429,” he said, introducing Ohtani’s record.

After receiving Tommy John Surgery meant to link tendons in his elbow last year, Ohtani will only play as a batter this season. He is undergoing rehabilitation, but Ohtani is still displaying good batting performance. The area that underwent surgery is also showing rapid recovery. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “Ohtani is recovering faster than we expected. I talked with Ohtani this winter, and he said Ohtani is feeling good, too.”

Ohtani will likely continue to serve as the second batter even after the opening of the regular season. He is second to none in the top lineup of Dodgers pitchers Betts, Ohtani and Freeman. Roberts pondered finding the best combination and decided on batting order by first hitter Betts, second hitter Ohtani and third hitter Freeman. “The batting order of exhibition games will be a hint of the regular season,” Roberts said, adding that he will maintain batting order in exhibition games even after the opening of the season.

Ohtani is under spotlight during the off-season. The moment he entered the FA market, Ohtani received attention. This is because multiple teams bet huge amounts of money to catch Ohtani, who was a pitcher and hitter but also showed great performance. Ohtani became the first player in the Major League to win the MVP twice (2021, 2023) and demonstrated his capability.

Ohtani signed a 10-year contract worth 700 million U.S. dollars with the Dodgers, and ended up wearing blue uniform. Ohtani joined the Dodgers with a record high in the history of professional sports. The Dodgers’ desire to win the championship captivated Ohtani. Despite his stellar performance in the Major League, Ohtani has never played in the postseason with the Los Angeles Angels. Dodgers is a regular postseason customer. Dodgers is a team that can quench Ohtani’s thirst for autumn baseball.

Ohtani recently announced her wedding and attracted the attention of baseball fans all over the world. “I have something to announce to all my friends and fans,” Ohtani said on his social networking site on Feb. 29, “Not only did I start a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers, but I also started a new life with someone. That person is from my home country, Japan, and he is a very special person to me. I wanted to let everyone know that I am married,” Ohtani said. “I am married to a Japanese woman.”

Not only local media in the U.S. but also Japanese media across the Pacific reported news of Ohtani’s marriage. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times said, “Ohtani officially announced her marriage through social media. Ohtani’s wife said she was from Japan,” while Japanese media Full Count said, “Ohtani announced her marriage. The sudden announcement made a fuss. Congratulations are pouring in on Ohtani’s social media.”

Ohtani also held an official press conference. “My spouse is Japanese. He is a very ordinary person. It has been about three to four years since we first met,” Ohtani told reporters at Dodgers’ clubhouse on March 1.

His spouse’s intention did not affect his transfer to the FA. The choice reflects only Ohtani’s intention. Ohtani said, “My wife did not influence the FA decision at all. My wife respected my opinion. Baseball was one thing. The top priority for me was where I played baseball.”

When asked about the timing of the presentation, Ohtani replied. “When I put all the other things together, I thought it was best to announce the wedding before the season starts,” he said. I wanted to make the announcement sooner, but I had to organize various things, including documents. I thought it would be noisy if I didn’t announce the wedding. I made the announcement to focus on baseball,” he said.


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