It may have taken 12 innings, but the Los Angeles Angels managed to even their series with the Houston Astros and set up a Sunday afternoon rubber match. While Matt Duffy was the eventual walk-off hero, they largely succeeded on the back of Shohei Ohtani, who was dominant once again on the mound.
He tossed a season-high 111 pitches and matched his season-high of 8.0 innings pitched. In that time, he gave up just one earned run on six hits and zero walks while striking out five. He also increased the usage of a brand new sinker, a menacing 98-99 mph pitch that he tossed 18 times on Saturday night.
The start brought Ohtani to 136.0 innings pitched on the season, a new MLB career high. It also put him at 181 strikeouts, bringing him closer and closer to joining the 200-strikeout club for the 2022 season.
Ohtani, normally harsher than the average player about his own success, even managed to speak positively of his elite no-decision outing, according to Sarah Wexler of MLB.com:
“I felt really good about it, for the most part,” said Ohtani. “Gave up a couple hits, but I was able to locate it where I wanted to and I was able to throw a lot of them, so that was really good.”
Knowing Ohtani, he likely allowed himself to be positive given that the Angels were able to secure a 2-1 victory in the 12th inning. And Angels interim manager Phil Nevin believed it may be the best Ohtani has been in 2022.
“He was incredible,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “For me, it was probably his best outing of the year, just considering where we were, the way the game was going. Even the run was a soft contact. He was really good. Really, really good.”
The combination of Jose Quijada, Jimmy Herget, and Ryan Tepera also supported Ohtani well, tossing 4.0 innings while allowing just two baserunners to give the Angels a chance to win with the bats.
Yes, the Halos only have four runs in two games against the Astros, but it’s been enough to keep things close thanks to remarkable work from Angels pitching. Ohtani’s eight innings are a prime example of that.
Ohtani’s season ERA is now down to 2.58, with his WHIP also a career-best 1.044. Ohtani also has the highest K-per-9 rate among qualified starters in MLB with 12 K’s per nine innings.
Reid Detmers allows four earned
In what was among his worst starts since returning from Triple-A in July, Reid Detmers gave up four runs on seven hits over 4.1 innings in the series opener with Houston. It was just the second time in his last nine starts that he allowed over two earned runs.