Oh boy! What a week for Shohei Ohtani. HIs first week in the city of Angels will be a memorable one, not only for Ohtani but for any general baseball fan. After his first career start on the mound last Sunday the Angels went back to L.A to host the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s both for a 3-game series.
Following his Sunday start, he was given a rest on Monday. Skipper Mike Scioscia then slotted him in the 8 spot for Tuesday’s game. And oh what a home debut it was. Josh Tomlin takes the mound for Cleveland, and the Angels gave him an early exit. Ohtani steps in to face Tomlin with 2 out and bases loaded in the bottom of the first. A wild pitch brought Kole Calhoun in and advanced the other two runners. On a 2-2 count, Tomlin left a curveball in the zone and Ohtani turned and launched in 397 ft to right-center field. Ohtani’s first hit in Angel stadium is a 3-run blast with an exit velocity of 104.5 mph. Ohtani was then rewarded with the silent treatment, which is a very common tradition for rookies when they hit their first big league home run.
In Ohtani’s next at-bat in the bottom of the third, he turned on an 0-1 cutter for a single to right field. In the 5th, Ohtani gets caught looking but follows it up in the 8th with another single, this time to center field on a 2-2 count. Ohtani concluded his Angels debut, going 3-for-4 with 2 singles, a home run, 2 runs, and 3 RBI’s.
Ohtani was inserted in the DH spot batting 8th again on Wednesday with a matchup against the 2017 AL Cy Young winner in Corey Kluber. His first taste of Kluber came in the 3rd inning when Kluber caught Ohtani looking on 4 pitches. In the 5th, Ohtani steps in with 2 out and a man on second. On a 1-1 pitch, Kluber left a 4-seam high in the zone and Ohtani turns and rips it 400 ft to left-center.
2nd HR for Ohtani! This one off Corey Kluber. pic.twitter.com/o8o3CEqmoL
— Craig Kernick (@frita51) April 4, 2018
Now what can be taken away from this at-bat is, not only can Ohtani rake, but he is also capable of adjustment. In the first at-bat, Kluber was challenging Ohtani with pitches high and away. We know how that one ends. But in the next at-bat, Ohtani made the adjustment and took the high and away 4-seamer deep.
Ohtani had 3 more at-bats the rest of the game one of them resulting in a single, and the other two were groundouts. L.A ended up winning this game in the 13th inning on a Zack Cozart home run. At the end of the day, Shohei Ohtani has now homered in back to back games.
The Angels had on off day on Thursday then started a three-game homestand against the A’s on Friday. Righty Daniel Gossett took the mound for the A’s and Ohtani gave him a warm welcome. In the bottom of the 2nd Ohtani turned on a 2-0 two seamer from Gossett and demolished the baseball. An exit velocity of 112.4 mph sent that ball 449 ft to center field.
On Tuesday, Shohei Ohtani hit his first MLB home run.
On Wednesday, he hit a game-tying 2-run home run off of former Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.
— Brad Badini ⚾️ (@celeBRADtion) April 7, 2018
Ohtani finished the game going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. Ohtani has become the talk of baseball, homering in all 3 of his Angel Stadium appearances So to recap the three games Ohtani went 6-for-13 with 4 runs, 7 RBI’s and 3 home runs. Not too shabby for your first week.
Scioscia gave Ohtani the day off Saturday in preparation for his scheduled start on Sunday. Ohtani who had faced the A’s last Sunday up in Oakland registered his first career win only allowing 3 earned runs on 3 hits that all came in a row.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium. Shohei Ohtani takes the mound for the Angeles. Oh, boy, did he put on a Sho-w (Pun Intended). The first batter of the game, Matt Joyce, got caught swinging on an splitter. Marcus Semien struck out on 6 pitches and Ohtani finished the inning strong getting ahead in the count on Jed Lowrie with a 96.7 mph four seamer then following it up with 2 nasty splitters that made Lowrie look like a little leaguer.
Ohtani struck out 6 of the first 9 through three innings. He continued to wow us with striking out the side again in the 5th when he got Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Matt Chapman to all strikeout swinging. Before you know it we are through 6 perfect innings with 11 K’s.
With one out in the 7th, Marcus Semien singled to left on a 2-0 fastball, breaking Ohtani’s perfect game bid. He then walked Jed Lowrie on 4 pitches. After a quick mound visi,t Ohtani was able to regroup get Khris Davis to ground out and then get Matt Olson to strike out for the 3rd time on none other than his electrifying splitter. Ohtani’s finished the game going 7 strong innings conceding 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs and racking up 12 k’s on 91 pitches.
Ohtani registered 24 swinging strikes, 8 of them coming from the fastball and 16 of them coming from the splitter. He threw the splitter 34 times and got a swing and miss on almost half of them. As of right now, Ohtani’s splitter is one of the top 10 pitches in baseball right now.
Shohei is probably the biggest story in all of baseball at the moment so keep an eye on him because he is must watch T.V for the time being. Ohtani next start date is yet to be announced but it will more than likely be sometime this weekend when the Angels take a trip to Kauffman stadium to play the Royals.