“Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) became the first player since 1920 to be honored in the live ball era.”
Injuries didn’t stop Ohtani. The American media was awestruck by another first for Ohtani. Ohtani batted second and started the game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, on April 4. On the mound, he pitched four innings of three-hit ball with one walk and four strikeouts before being pulled early due to a cramp in the middle finger of his right hand, while at the plate, he went 2-for-2 with a home run (his 40th of the season), two walks, one RBI, one stolen base, and two runs scored.
According to ESPN, “Ohtani became the first player in the live-ball era (since 1920) to hit a home run, steal a base, and not allow a run on the mound in the same game while appearing in all four plate appearances. It was a day that epitomized what a two-hit superstar is all about.
Ohtani must have been disappointed in himself on the mound. His pitches were good, with 41 strikes out of 59 pitches, and his fastball topped out at 100.2 mph (16.2 km/h) and averaged 98.7 mph (158.8 km/h). Ohtani’s fastball averaged 96.9 mph (155.9 km/h) this season, so his command was much better than usual.
His other pitches were also potent. He relied heavily on his fastball (22 pitches) and sweeper (23 pitches), but he also had a slider (4), curve (3), splitter (3), cutter (3), and sinker (1) to keep the Seattle bats at bay.
However, he was abruptly replaced by Jose Soriano in the top of the fifth inning. The change was made at Ohtani’s request. The designated hitter remained in the game, suggesting that the injury wasn’t serious. The club’s explanation was a cramp in his right hand. “I had a cramp in my middle finger of my right hand,” Ohtani explained to the American media after the game.
Angels manager Phil Nevin said, “Ohtani told me he had a cramp in the middle of his right hand and that he couldn’t throw the ball anymore. I always trust Ohtani and his body. It was a finger, so there was no need to worry about it. But we’ll check (the condition of the finger). It was fine to hit,” he said.
Ace Ohtani’s injury took everyone by surprise. What was even more surprising was what happened next. With the bat in hand, Ohtani was still hot regardless of the injury. Two batters into the bottom of the sixth inning, down 0-1, Ohtani worked a 3-0 pitch count and Seattle starter Brian Wu opted for a high fastball. Ohtani rattled Woo even more by stealing second base on the next CJ Cron at-bat. It was his 14th stolen base of the season. Krohn was able to move Ohtani into scoring position with a single up the middle to tie the game at 1-1. Mike Moustakas followed with an RBI single to center field to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.
Ohtani didn’t stop there, crawling home in the bottom of the eighth. One out later, he took a 96.2-mile-per-hour fastball from Seattle reliever Isaiah Campbell for a solo shot to right-center field. It was a big shot that made it 3-1.
According to MLB.com, “Ohtani proved in the eighth inning that finger cramps weren’t going to stop him from stepping up to the plate. He robbed Campbell of a leadoff home run and gave the Angels an extra run. Ohtani is the first player in the majors to reach the 40-homer plateau this season and is on a 59-homer pace for the year,’ marveling at Ohtani’s cartoon baseball, where injuries can’t stop him.
The big surprise came in the top of the ninth. Closer Carlos Estevez was pulled after giving up four runs on two hits (one homer) and two walks with three strikeouts in 1.2 innings. It was the end of Ohtani’s one-man show. The loss was even more devastating for Estevez, who had been a reliable closer with 23 saves and five wins this year. It was Estevez’s first blown save of the season.카지노
The Angels have decided to keep Ohtani for another year rather than trade him. It was a move to try and make a playoff run in what is effectively their last season with Ohtani. Ohtani is in the American League MVP race as usual, but the Angels are not. The loss dropped the Angels to 56-54 on the season, four games behind the third wild-card spot in the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays (60-50).
For now, Ohtani is hoping for the best for the Angels for the rest of the season. Regarding the condition of his finger, he said, “It’s hard to say if I need to miss a day or a start, those discussions and decisions are up to Nevin and the club. But I don’t want to miss any games going forward.”