Shohei Ohtani finally got to take the mound for his second start of the season after a blister held him out for over two weeks. Despite some shaky moments, he gave the Los Angeles Angels exactly what they needed in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers to help even the series.
In 4.0 innings, Ohtani threw 80 pitches and gave up zero runs and only one hit while striking out seven. The bad news from the night is that he walked six batters, including three straight to load the bases in the first inning. He got out of every jam, but all of his potential wounds were self-inflicted.
After the game, the Angels two-way star spoke about his control during his four-inning appearance, rating it a zero, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I would give it a zero out of 100,” Ohtani said when asked to assess his control on Tuesday. “It’s definitely something I need to improve on with my next outing.”
In 80 pitches, Ohtani threw just 37 strikes. One of the big reasons for this could be the fact that he dropped his fastball usage from 56% in his first start to 39% against the Rangers. He said this was an intentional change due to his blister, and he believes he can reintroduce the fastball next time around.
“This game was a special case with the blister,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I just wanted to see how my finger and the blister reacted. As of now, there’s no issues, so I don’t think there will be any limitations to throwing the fastball from here.”
Everything we saw and heard from Ohtani is an encouraging sign moving forward. Hopefully there are no setbacks over the next few days and he can make his next scheduled start. As he pitches more, he’ll be able to improve on his command and gain more confidence.
As for some more good news, it appears Ohtani will hit on Wednesday, as all health signs were positive after his outing on Tuesday.
Angels bats wake up after Joe Maddon reiterated his faith
After Monday night’s loss, Joe Maddon said he was proud of how the team competed at the plate and that things simply didn’t go their way. That changed on Tuesday, as the Angels hit three home runs en route to scoring six total on the night.