Anaheim – somehow, Shuhei Ohtani He continues to manage the ascent to new heights.
waving New gravity Recently starting to consolidate, the two-way star looked as dominant as ever Saturday night at Angle Stadium, throwing eight rounds of one ball in the Angels’ 2-1 win over the Astros in 12 rounds. In the process Ohtani reached 400 major league strikes while also achieving his career high in MLB innings with 136 (overtaking his 130 1/3 total in 2021).
Otani’s 403 hits across parts of four seasons in the Major League in addition to the 624 he scored during his five seasons in the NPB.
“It was amazing,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “For me, it was probably his best outing this year, just looking at where we were, the way the match was going. Even the run was a soft connection. It was really good. Really, really good.”
That sinking was a huge part of Otani’s success against the team with the best record in the MLS. After throwing it 13 times in his previous two starts combined, he threw it 18 times on Saturday. He’s been working for him like never before, with Otani himself describing the pitch as “bad.”
“I mean, you can see it,” said Nevin. “It has 17-18 inches of sprint across the board, and it still hits 98-99 mph. That’s a pretty tough grade to handle for any hitter, [and] Definitely as a right-handed hitter.”
“I felt good about it, for the most part,” Ohtani said. “I gave a few hits, but I was able to locate them where I wanted, and I was able to throw a lot of them, so that was really good.”
The only drawback on Otani’s streak came at the top of fifth, when Trey Mancini hit a double and came off base hit by JJ Matijewicz. But after he pulled off a base-loaded jam on the sixth and threw a clean top off the seventh, Ohtani had enough in the tank to get back into the eighth inning. For the second time this season and the fourth time in his career, he made it past eight, working around the Jose Altove double that he won single-handedly to keep the tie at 1.
The 111 pitches marked the peak of the season for the right-hand man, who lowered his ERA to 2.58, and who ranks fifth among eligible MLS players.
“You can see it on his face sometimes when he’s another level higher than the level he’s already at,” Nevin said. “I mean, I’ve seen him get up over 100mph there on the seventh and eighth, so he can definitely go back and have that gear.”
It comes on the heels of Okhtani becoming the first player in AL/NL history to score 30 or more at home in a season while also winning 10 or more matches, which Get it done on Wednesday. Saturday’s five-hit total rose to 181. With an additional 19 players, he will also be the first player in AL/NL history with 200 strikers as a striker and 30 home passes as a hitter.
He threw over 136 rounds in one season in Japan, but with a few more starts, he could hit a personal high.
The Angels only collected one run during the first nine rounds, as Luis Renjivo netted Ryan Aguilar’s flyover Ryan Aguilar on the seventh in Aguilar’s first RBI career. But Jose Quejada, Jimmy Herget and Ryan Tebera combined in four goal-free rounds, setting the stage for Matt Duffy’s single in the bottom 12 on a ball that rebounded before hitting the gauntlet of midfielder Mauricio Dupont.
This was Duffy’s first ride with the Angels, which was made all the more fun by the fact that it saved Ohtani’s excellent start. Duffy even took the opportunity to talk about hotness Ohtani vs. Aaron Judge AL MVP Discussion.
“People have been talking about Judge for MVP, and I absolutely love it, it should break [Roger] “Maris even scored in the conversation for me,” Duffy said. “Some people might think this is ridiculous in New York, I’m sure. But [Ohtani] He does it on both sides of the ball.
“…I mean, that’s crazy. There really are no words for that. And there’s a reason no one has done it since Babe Ruth, I think. But how extraordinary on both sides of the ball it is, it’s just, I’m out of words, because there’s nothing.”
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