Shohei Ohtani ‘Very Relieved’ To Hit First Dodgers Home Run

The Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the San Francisco Giants, but that may have been overshadowed by Shohei Ohtani hitting his first home run as a member of his new club.

Ohtani had been struggling to hit for power through the first eight games of the season. He also had some issues with timing that was causing him to miss hittable pitches.

But now that Ohtani is on the board, his home run total should begin to rise rapidly.

“Honestly, very relieved that I was able to hit my first homer,” Ohtani said through translator Will Ireton. “It’s been a while and honestly my swing hasn’t been great. So overall, very relieved.”

The pressure of living up to a $700 million contract may have been on the back of his mind, as well as the situation with Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani’s former interpreter and friend who was accused of stealing millions amid illegal gambling activity.

While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts downplayed those things as affecting Ohtani on the field, no one could blame the superstar if they did.

But even with the outside noise, Ohtani was looking to get off to a hot start and impress with his new club.

“My impression was it was getting a little longer than my expectations, and during those situations it’s easy to become anxious,” Ohtani said. “So I was overall just relieved.”

Ohtani’s home run also proved to be the winner in the 5-4 victory, which is somewhat of a rare feeling for the superstar after spending years in Anaheim and losing on a consistent bases despite his heroics.

“Just being able to contribute in a close game, and obviously it’s not just me, but overall the team was able to put up good offense,” Ohtani said. “So I’m very relieved and happy with that.”

Shohei Ohtani got home run ball back

Ohtani was able to get his first home run ball back from the fan that caught it, trading a ball, two caps and a bat for it, along with a meet and greet with the fan.

“Obviously, it’s a very special ball,” Ohtani said. A lot of feelings toward it. I’m very grateful it’s back.”

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