Paul Skenes and Shohei Ohtani trade feats of baseball awesomeness

Paul Skenes is coming off his second MLB win, a six-inning outing against the Detroit Tigers back on May 29th where he allowed just a pair of runs in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 10-2 win. But on Wednesday night he faced a much different challenge, as the Pirates welcomed Shohei Ohtani and company to PNC Park.

In the first inning at least, it was not much of a contest.

After Skenes struck out Mookie Betts to open the game, using three 100+ mph fastballs and a vicious slider, it was time for the first meeting between the hard-throwing hurler and Ohtani.

Advantage, Skenes.

It did not take long for Ohtani to make the same walk back to the dugout Betts did. Skenes delivered three-straight 100+ mph fastballs to the two-time American League MVP, and Ohtani swung and missed on all three:

However, Skenes did not have the same success the next time Ohtani dug into the box, in the top of the third.

With a runner on first base and two outs, Ohtani worked the count full, letting a 100 mph fastball on the inside corner go on a 2-2 count for ball three. Skenes brought the heat once more, going upstairs with a 101 mph fastball.

Ohtani somehow managed to turn on it:

To get his hands around and launch that fastball to dead center? Just incredible.

I think I speak for everyone when I suggest that these two go head-to-head at this year’s All Star Game.

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