The Los Angeles Angels wrapped up their Texas road trip by taking three of four from the Rangers, and two of three in Houston against the Astros. In Wednesday’s finale, the Angels turned to their ace to win the series before heading back to Angel Stadium.
The 6-0 final secured the series win for the Angels and put them at the top of the American League West and with the best record across the entire AL.
Prior to this game, Ohtani struggled on the mound, allowing seven runs over in his first two starts of the season.
But this game, he was back to doing what we’ve come to expect of Ohtani: making history, which he did according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Shohei Ohtani had already made history before he took the mound. That happened when he became the first pitcher since at least 1900 to bat twice before ever throwing a pitch, according to MLB. He walked and hit a two-run double.
The Angels did all of their damage with a six-run first inning—and thanks to Ohtani and the bullpen, that was all they needed.
Ohtani was perfect for five innings, punching out 12 Astros before allowing his first hit in the sixth. He passed the baton off to Ryan Tepera who then gave way to Raisel Iglesias to shut the door.
It took Astros starter, Jake Odorizzi, over 30 pitches to record his first out and by that time Ohtani’s pregame warm-up pitches were old news:
“Starting off a game like that, it’s kind of hard to get locked in and get the outs,” Ohtani said through an interpreter after the Angels’ 6-0 win over Houston. “But I felt like I was able to take one pitch, one batter at a time.”
This outing lowers Ohtani’s ERA to 4.40, with 26 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP. Aside from his blowup start against the Rangers last week, he could be ready to roll.
Michael Lorenzen feels best in the rotation
The Angels entered the offseason with a focus to shore up their starting rotation already featuring two-way star Ohtani, by signing Michael Lorenzen and Noah Syndergaard to one-year deals.
Syndergaard’s career has been made from the rotation, and that’s where Lorenzen envisioned himself as well after agreeing to sign in L.A. with a guaranteed spot as a starter. He had only started 26 career games dating back to 2015, and 21 of those came in his rookie season.
But with a pitch mix like Lorenzen has, he felt best utilized in more than just a relief role which he had been during most of his big league career.
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