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Shohei Ohtani had an insane first week in the majors

In Saturday’s Say Hey, Baseball, we look at Ohtani’s impressive first week, the dirty business of MLBAM, and Aaron Judge’s mad defensive skills.

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Remember a few weeks ago, when there were lots and lots of questions about Shohei Ohtani being ready for the majors? That’s all over now. After just over a week in the majors, Ohtani has shown that he was more than ready. He was beyond ready. He was readier than anyone could have hoped for.

It started a week ago during Ohtani’s first MLB start on the mound for the Angels. After a difficult spring which saw him struggle at the plate and at the rubber, his debut was a relief for everyone. He allowed three runs over six innings against the Athletics, and showed a lot of poise and potential. He walked just one batter and struck out six while allowing only three hits — and one was a three-run home run. Those were the only runs he gave up.

But then comes the really exciting stuff. In his very first home game, Ohtani was starting as the designated hitter. And in his very first home at-bat, he smacked a ball out to the stands in right center field for a home run. That’s the stuff that magic is made of. He also collected two more hits. But it didn’t stop there! In his second home game, he hit *another* home run. And that time it was off of Corey Kluber, the pitching machine! He collected another single in that game, too. (The Japanese call of that homer is truly a feast for the ears.)

But this tale of Ohtani’s awesomenes STILL isn’t over. On Friday night while DHing against the Athletics, he hit his most impressive homer yet: a bullet to straight away center field. He’s hit homers in three straight games! And what’s more, the Angels were down 6-0, and Ohtani’s homer woke up the rest of the bats and led to a 13-9 win.

A few weeks ago, there were legitmate reasons to be worried. But we should have remembered what we tell ourselves every year: spring stats are for suckers. If you get taken by them, you only have yourself to blame. But in this case, there’s no blame, because Ohtani is somehow even more exciting than we thought he’d be.