Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani took the mound Wednesday night in the hopes of securing a series win for his team. Riding a streak of six starts with 10 or more strikeouts against an Oakland Athletics team that Ohtani has dominated throughout his career, hopes appeared high.
However, over 5.2 innings, Ohtani struggled with traffic on the base paths. He allowed three runs — two earned — on seven hits and one walk. He also struck out seven batters, which still constitutes a good performance, but ended his potentially historic streak at six starts.
Offensively, the Angels failed once again to provide any support for Ohtani, scoring just one run via a Luis Rengifo RBI. The Halos lost 3-1 and Ohtani was even removed from the game early as a batter despite the new rule allowing him to remain at DH after exiting as a pitcher.
Anytime a pitcher — especially one as important to the Angels as Ohtani — is removed due to arm discomfort, it can be a concerning thing. However, interim manager Phil Nevin felt no reason to be concerned, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
Interim manager Phil Nevin said Ohtani was dealing with a “mild cramp” in his right forearm.
“It’s nothing we’re alarmed about,” Nevin said. “He had a hard time grabbing the bat when he went down underneath. He was taking some swings. He plans on DH’ing (Thursday).”
Ohtani has suffered from minor bumps and bruises throughout his career. He’s missed starts due to blisters, errant foul balls, and other random in-game occurrences. So it would not be surprising to see his next start pushed back due to an arm cramp.
But if Ohtani is in the lineup on Thursday afternoon as Nevin suggests, it could be a sign that removing him from Wednesday’s game was purely cautionary. First pitch is at 1:07 p.m. PT Thursday, meaning any questions about his health could be answered very shortly.
Nevin praises Angels trade deadline moves
Nevin extended his optimism surrounding Ohtani’s arm cramp to the Angels’ trade deadline, one that saw them make three trades that looked towards the future.
The Angels interim manager praised the flexibility and depth that each trade provided, acquiring a number of intriguing players and prospects for some of their big money names.