Shauhi Otani had in the past been touted as a pitcher and a hitter, but had never done both in a single game until Sunday night. Finally showcasing his full arsenal in prime time, Ohtani, the Japanese star of the Los Angeles Angels, dazzled with a 100 mph fastball and also hit the toughest home run of any batsman so far this season.
His thrilling day ended with a frightening scene, however: Ohtani lay on the ground in pain, his feet protruding from beneath him. While trying to cover the home plate. After the Angels rallied in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the White Sox, 7-4, Ohtani was left with an ankle and would be a wildly no decision.
Manager Joe Madden told reporters after the game, “What he did tonight was very special, and you’re going to see a lot.” “It was fun watching. I think everyone was entertained. He signed up to do that, and you’re going to see more of it.”
Strange ending for Ohtney – the Angels said he was fine – played a little game that turned into a celebration of a player who was compared to Babe Ruth when he first came to the United States from Japan.
Sunday’s setup was without precedent in recent decades. Ohtani started on the mound and batted second – the first for a pitcher since 1903. And he was clearly up for the honor, crushing a 451-foot home run on the first pitch he saw from Chicago’s Dylan Cease.
The exit velocity at Ohtani’s blast was 115.2 mph, which is not only the hardest hit home run of the season, but also the hardest recorded by an Angels player since Statcast data began to be collected in 2015.
For good measure, Ohtani also threw nine pitches, topping 100 mph in four innings of work, topping the fastball for Adam Eaton at a score of 101.1 in the fourth inning, which led to a groundout. It was the fastest pitch thrown by a starting pitcher anywhere in baseball this season.
Ohtani’s last line for the day:
In the form of pitcher: 4 innings, two hits, three runs (one earned), seven strikes, five walks
As a batsman: 1 for 3, 451-foot single homer
“I’m glad I got this game under my belt,” Ohtani told reporters through his interpreter. “It will lead to more confidence.”
He said: “I am not out to prove anything wrong or anything.”
The decision to bat Ohtani for himself in the AL game was unusual – only two other starting pitchers have batted for themselves in the American League game since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973 – but he was preferred to bat so high The order was far more scarce, regardless of the option league.
Ohtani was the first starting pitcher to bat first or second in the game, as Jack Dunley did for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1903. Dunley, a two-way player who regularly served as a right fielder as well as a starting pitcher, started. Bat on the pitcher and in the second game of the second batting September 7, 1903. His double duty game did not go well: He scored 0 for 4 and gave up seven runs in a 7-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
While Ohtani’s abilities as a pitcher and hitter were known long before his arrival in the United States, he always hired a designated hitter during his debut on the mound, as a batsman in advance of days. I also took an extra day off. Determined to pitch. But as a result of elbow issues, being limited to only two starts on the mound in the last two seasons, he reported being fully healthy this spring and rumors began to resonate that he would bat for himself in the days leading up to the start. do.
“Don’t you like it?” Maddon previously told reporters when he asked about Ohtani’s decision to bat on the pitches. “It’s all that.” It was he deciding that he could do it. “
When Otney delivered a run with a wild pitch in the fifth inning, the Angels cut the lead to 3–1. He appeared to be out of trouble when, with two outs and runners on second and third, he hit Jonah Moncada. But catch Max Stassi was unable to catch the ball, resulting in Moncada taking first base.
Stacey’s throw was pretty wild at first, runner-up at third, while Chicago’s Jose Abreau superseded the first baseman, did the third round and headed home. Ohtani cleverly covered the plate, but had to reach over his head to throw it late. As soon as Ohtani came to the ground, Abreu’s slide landed him directly into the pitcher’s left leg, and sent Ohtani to the ground, drenched in pain. He was immediately removed from the game.
While there was nothing unusual about Abreu’s slide, the play was certainly frightening for Ohtani. But soon after Ohtani was dropped from the game, ESPN reported that the team said he was fine. The Angels reported that he had only normal soreness, and will be reevaluated on Monday.
Ohtani said, “I can’t really get to the place where he hit me, but he kicked my legs out.” “I landed on it, but its impact was not as bad as it initially seemed.
“For tomorrow, training staff will have to talk.”