Oh!-tani lighting up the MLB

SHOHEI OHTANI is tied for the Major League Baseball lead in home runs with 23 (Angels photo).

He’s not only a top contender for Most Valuable Player in the American League, but also for Most Amazing Player. We’re talking about Shohei “Sho-time” Ohtani, the two-way star for the Angels.

On Sunday he hit his 23rd home run of the season, tying for the major league lead. The Angels ended up losing 5-3 in 10 innings to the Detroit Tigers, but all eyes remain on the import from Japan. He’s homered in three straight games and six times in six games.

On top of that, he’s not just a long ball-hitter. He’s now batting .273 and – on the pitcher’s mound – has a 2.70 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 53.1 innings.  Ohtani now has a total of 70 career home runs, ranking him fourth all-time among big league ballplayers who had substantial two-way careers.

Of course, on top of the list is Babe Ruth, so catching the Sultan of Swat is probably a bridge too far, but just to be mentioned in the same breath … wow.

“It’s pretty incredible, right? It’s really fun to watch,” said Angel manager Joe Maddon. “He’s so talented and he’s playing with a ton of confidence.”

Ohtani’s heroics have helped spark the Angels to a 12-5 run that put them at .500 and back in contention for an American League wild card spot.  Just for the moment, Sho-time is making up for the sidelining of the perennial MVP, Mike Trout.

ANGELS SCHEDULE:  At home Tuesday and Wednesday to host the San Francisco Giants, then an off-day Thursday. A six-game road trip starts in Friday in Tampa Bay for a three-game series.

No news here: Dodgers swept the D-backs

A win is a win, and the sweep of a three-game series is nothing to sneeze at, but such feats are to be expected against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the worst team in baseball.

After falling 9-8 to the Dodgers on Sunday, the boys from desert notched their 17th straight loss. What’s worse than that is their overall record of 20-53, which works out to a .274 win-loss percentage, one of the worst ever.

The “crown” goes to the 1962 New York Mets, who won 40 of 160 games for a .250 stat. The Mets, at least, had the excuse of being a first-year expansion team.

The sweep in Phoenix allowed the Dodgers to pull into second place in the NL West race, just 1.5 games behind the Giants. However, the creampuff part of the schedule is over as LAD faces some tough teams going forward.

DODGERS SCHEDULE: At San Diego Monday to Wednesday, then home Thursday through Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.

Seahawks really streaked to a title

Going from third place in league to first place in the whole CIF-SS division? That’s a pretty good, no, great accomplishment.

OCEAN VIEW softball team. Jose Smith is head coach (OVHS photo).

On Friday the Ocean View High School softball pulled off that feat, defeating Western Christian to win the Division 5 title in Irvine. To add drama to the triumph, the Seahawks rallied in the seventh inning to prevail 2-1 over the top-seeded team.

OVHS finished its regular season in third place in the Golden West League behind Segerstrom and Godinez.

Actually, the ‘Hawks tied with Godinez with 6-4 marks, but entered the playoffs as the league’s third place team.

It was then that the Huntington Beach School went on a tear, defeating Savanna 15-1, Ontario Christian 13-2, Capistrano Valley 3-1 and San Marcos 1-0 before landing in the title game. The streak ended up totaling nine wins in a row. The overall season record is 17-10.

Desyree Arizmendi, the Ocean View star pitcher, was named player of the game. She’s been a four-year player for the Hawks and has been named player of the game 12 times in her high school career.

Sports Monday is written by Pete Zarustica.


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