MLB

Ohtani 'the most physically gifted baseball player ever', says Red Sox pitcher Barnes

By Sports Desk May 17, 2021

Shohei Ohtani has been hailed as the "most physically gifted baseball player ever" by Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes after inspiring the Los Angeles Angels to a dramatic victory at Fenway Park.

Two-way star Ohtani hit a two-out, two-run drive in the ninth inning of Sunday's MLB showdown as the Angels beat the Red Sox 6-5 in the series finale to snap a four-game losing run.

Ohtani entered the frame in the final inning along with Mike Trout and, after the latter hit a bloop single to keep the game alive, Ohtani smashed a home run off Barnes for his second homer of the series.

In doing so, Ohtani denied Barnes his 10th save of the season - only four others currently have more than nine - and the Red Sox closer was impressed by what he saw.

"I personally think he's the most physically gifted baseball player that we've ever seen," Barnes said in his post-game interview. "I don't know that you're ever going to see someone who can throw 100-101 (mph) and hit the ball 600 feet. 

"He's a special player and incredibly talented. Hopefully, he stays healthy and has a long career."

Ohtani now has 12 homers this season, which is the joint-most in MLB alongside Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge and Ronald Acuna Jr.

After his inspired display against the Red Sox, the 26-year-old's RBI count stands at 29 - the joint-12th best in the division - and his batting average .262.

"Coming off a losing streak and the first two games of the series, the way we lost, it wasn't a good way to lose," Ohtani said through a translator.

"So, it was huge for us and the team to come up with this. We showed that we can beat any team."

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