Shohei Ohtani hits 1st Dodgers HR after (relatively) slow start

Shohei Ohtani has his first home run with the Los Angeles Dodgers, after nine games of expectation.

The two-way phenom notched his first long ball of the season on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, taking reliever Taylor Rogers way deep at Dodger Stadium. Statcast measured the ball as traveling 430 feet and 105.6 mph off the bat.

Like with many Ohtani homers, the contact just sounded different:

The fan who caught the ball was later seen being escorted from the stands, likely with some negotiations ahead of her to procure the ball for Ohtani.

Home runs by left-handed hitters are rarity for Rogers, a sidearm left-hander. Ohtani's same-side homer is only the eighth Rogers has allowed in his career, and the first since 2021.

Ohtani's homer comes after a somewhat slow start for the most famous player in baseball, who entered 2024 with enormous attention, and pressure, after signing a heavily deferred 10-year, $700 million deal in free agency with the Dodgers. He entered Wednesday hitting .242/.297/.333, which isn't too bad this early in the season, unless you have Ohtani-size expectations.

The homer also puts Ohtani one step closer to humorous history. He's only six homers behind current Dodgers manager Dave Roberts for the most by a Japanese-born player in Dodgers history, as MLB.com's Sarah Langs noted.

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