Watch: Shohei Ohtani vs Juan Soto Home Run Derby duel was an instant classic

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Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto turned in an instant classic Home Run Derby duel on Monday night. 

This year’s Home Run Derby was supposed to be a symphony of Shohei Ohtani, but ended up being a power ballad duet with with Juan Soto.

The league-leader in home runs went toe-to-toe with Nationals slugger Juan Soto and turned in an instant classic Derby matchup. We needed two timed rounds and a three-pitch sudden death Swing Off to determine a winner, and eery single second was pure entertainment and unbridled joy.

Ohtani failed to get off to a hot start as he chased Soto’s original total of 22, but after a timeout and as time started melting off the clock, he kicked it into another gear.

Home Run Derby highlights: Juan Soto vs Shohehi Ohtani highlights

Simply put, the showdown was outstanding.

The two were given a bonus round which also went right down to the buzzer in a tie.

Going up against the best home run hitter in the league was not easy task, but Soto lived up to the challenge. In the Swing Off, he clobbered all three of his pitches into the Mile High night sky.

Ohtani grounded the first pitch he swung at and the match was over.

The only loser, however, was everyone at home who had to come to grips with the reality that the amazing showdown we had just witnessed had to end.

“He gave everything he had, I gave everything I had. It was a fun competition,” A beaming Soto said after the match.

Soto wasn’t the only one who was happy. Despite the disappointment of fans hoping to see Ohtani make a run at a Home Run Derby title, it was impossible to be upset at what we all had witnessed.

On a day when Stephen A. Smith said some very stupid and extremely xenophobic comments about Ohtani being the face of baseball, two players whose first language isn’t English gave us an absolute showstopper of a Home Run Derby classic.

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