Angels 4, White Sox 4 — Cactus League 3/1/21 Breakdown
Shohei Ohtani
Angels star Shohei Ohtani came to Tempe with his mind set on on pitching and hitting — at elite levels. (Sean M. Haffey // (Getty Images)

by Stu Matthews, Angels Nation managing editor

There’s no crying in baseball, and there are no tie games either. But it’s spring training, and about 2,000 fans watched the Angels “draw” 4-4 against the Chicago White Sox in their home spring opener at Diablo Stadium.

Those fans saw Angel stars Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani all collect hits, and newcomer Alex Cobb pitched a scoreless first inning as the Angels faced live MLB opposition for the second straight day.

And the players, including Jo Adell, who drew a walk in the fifth, were happy to see their fans scattered in the seats in Tempe:

Two-way player Ohtani  — who is lighting up radar guns in his bullpen sessions as a (hopefully) healthy starting pitcher — looked comfortable at the plate Monday, hitting singles to left and right fields in three plate appearances after a woeful .190 season with the stick in 2020.

“Everything is going as planned so far,” Ohtani told reporters, (somewhat ominously?). “I’m where I should be,” through his interpreter Izzei Mizuhara. Ohtani is a young man of few words, but when the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year speaks about his preparation, he means it.

The ‘Brief Breakdown’:

Pitching: Angels manager Joe Maddon got what he wanted from Cobb, who started the game and hit 93mph on the radar gun, and from relievers Ty Buttrey and lanky Aaron Slegers, who both fired scoreless innings in a game ended by agreement after just five innings.

It wasn’t so pretty for reliever Luke Bard, fighting for a roster spot in the Angels’ bullpen but who gave up all four White Sox runs Monday in just a third of an inning, giving up a walk and four hits.

Batters: Mike Trout had two plate appearances. The best baseball player on earth single in his first PA and walked in his second — raising his Cactus League on-base percentage to 1.000 … (Ho-hum) …

What’s more exciting than an RBI triple? A two-run triple! And Angels fans saw new shortstop Jose Iglesias stroke a triple into the gap in left center to chase two teammates home ahead of him …

Talking points: New infielder Jack Mayfield was active but didn’t play Tuesday. We’ll have to wait another day for the Angels’ debut of a future Big A fan-favorite super-sub? …

On Tuesday: Lef-hander Andrew Heaney takes the mound for the Halos as they hit the road to face the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.

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