Near-perfect Ohtani mows down A's

10 April, 2018, 20:21 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Angels Star Shohei Ohtani Swinging Hot Bat After Third Home Run Of Season

Shohei Ohtani continued his introduction to the major leagues on Sunday, when he struck out 12 over seven innings and won his home debut for the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani was particularly spectacular on Sunday, taking a ideal game into the seventh and striking out 12 while allowing just one hit and one walk.

He was sharp from the beginning on a gorgeous day in Orange County, striking out the side in the first inning on 15 pitches while mixing 99 miles per hour heat with 80 miles per hour splitters and precipitous curveballs. Ohtani is a must-see player in baseball, and I can't wait to see what he does next. "One hit would [mean] two runs, and it's a huge difference. I wanted that strikeout, and I got it". Oh, and the gem came after the 23-year-old hit a home run in each of his previous three games as a designated hitter for Los Angeles.

Ohtani is the first American League player to hit a home run in three straight games in the same season he started a game as a pitcher since Ruth, who did it last in 1930, per STATS LLC.

Ohtani, who throws right-handed when he pitches, is scheduled to make his second Major League Baseball start on the mound today against the A's. Ohtani received multiple standing ovations from the Angel Stadium crowd. "As a Red Sox fan, very sad, because he's too good". He's also been with San Diego, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. After four games with the A's, Los Angeles is one of just six teams to still maintain a flawless fielding percentage.

In fairness, the Angels' brass didn't assuage concerns as rumors of Ohtani opening the season in the minors became prevalent about two weeks prior to Opening Day.

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The Angels' Mike Trout, right, gets a handshake from Kole Calhoun, after Trout scored in the first inning against Oakland in Anaheim on Sunday, April 8, 2018.

The Oakland Athletics were shut down on offense against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels on Sunday, losing 6-1 in the series finale. In the bottom of the 14th, down 5-4 with runners on the corners and no outs, he labored through a 12-pitch at-bat against rookie right-hander Wilmer Font. He exhibited his pitching prowess a few days later - throwing one of the nastiest sliders I've ever seen and masterfully playing with pitch speeds that ranged from 75 miles per hour to 95 miles per hour - and clinched his first win.

Lagares singled off Brandon Kintzler (0-2) to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second.

Ohtani struck out the side in the first inning and he would keep rolling from there. Following Brandon Belt's sixth-inning RBI double and Chase Utley's game-tying solo shot in the seventh, neither team added to their totals for the next six straight innings.

In his Japanese Pacific League career, Ohtani obtained his career highs in home runs and RBIs in 2016, with 22 and 67, respectively.

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