For a tournament that some critics say doesn’t really matter, the World Baseball Classic really mattered on Tuesday. (Watch the video below.)
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, who are normally teammates on the Angels and are arguably MLB’s best players, made that possible with an epic showdown in the ninth inning of the title game.
Ohtani was facing Trout at the plate with two outs, the count full and Ohtani’s Japan team leading Trout’s U.S. squad, 3-2.
It was Ohtani, the two-way megastar, who got the better of Trout, striking him out to give Japan the victory and the championship in Miami.
“I believe this is the best moment in my life,” Ohtani said, per ESPN.
Media outlets also appreciated the magnitude of the moment. USA Today’s For the Win called the “storybook” conclusion “sports drama at its finest.” “How the WBC needed to end,” SB Nation wrote. MLB.com deemed it “the strikeout heard ’round the world.”