The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins, 4-2, on Friday on the shoulders of their ace, Shohei Ohtani who notched his 14th win of the season.
With rain in the forecast and cool conditions, Ohtani worked around some first-inning trouble after hitting a batter, who eventually came around to score. He battled, and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but struggled with walks for most of the game.
After issuing six free passes, Ohtani only surrendering two earned runs over five innings speaks to his ability to make big pitches when needed. After tallying seven total strikeouts, he also surpassed the 200 strikeout mark for the first time in his career, finishing with 203.
With a 2.47 ERA, and a 2.51 FIP across 153 innings, Ohtani is squarely in the conversation for the American League Cy Young, and his manager believes he should be strongly considered, via the Associated Press:
“I think he’s right in that talk,” Nevin said. “He’s going to get there with the innings, I think. Personally, there’s nobody better I want. There’s nobody I want on the mound more if I want to win a big game. I certainly think he should be in the discussion.”
After his six-run blow-up against the Atlanta Braves on July 22, Ohtani has posted a 1.96 ERA and a 2.67 FIP in 59.2 innings, 10 starts.
Last season it was hit bat to take a leap, but this year, Ohtani kept his bat in the same air but has turned himself into a top three pitcher in the AL.
Mike Trout praises Shohei Ohtani’s ability
Since making his MLB debut in 2018, Shohei Ohtani has not only established himself as one of the best players in all of baseball, but a true once-in-a-generation talent.
Ohtani is the total package in every respect as he has 40-plus home run potential and a ridiculous arsenal of pitches. The 28-year-old had all of his tools on display last season as he led the league in multiple categories en route to winning the American League MVP Award.
Ohtani seemingly is getting better with each game and will once again be in the conversation for the honor this year. Mike Trout, who knows a thing or two about winning MVP awards, believes Ohtani is an even better pitcher than hitter.